A measure of bias

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Unfortunately, patients with DLBCL in need of immediate therapy are largely under-represented in clinical trials. Shorter diagnosis-to-treatment interval (DTI) is associated with poorer outcomes, and it has been proposed as a measure by which researchers might quantify selection bias in clinical studies of DLBCL and its treatment. A team led by Ludwig Stanford investigator Ash Alizadeh examined whether circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), shed by dead cancer cells into the blood, might also be usefully measured to that end. The researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in April that short DTI is associated with a greater baseline tumor burden and can be more objectively tracked by measures of ctDNA to quantify and account for patient selection bias in clinical studies. ctDNA levels were also reliably associated with event-free and overall survival in multivariable analyses. The study involved 217 patients with DLBCL treated at six centers in the U.S. and Europe, and ctDNA was detectable in 98% of the patients.

This article appeared in the August 2021 issue of Ludwig Link. Click here to download a PDF (2MB).


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