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Invited Commentary
November 2015

PROceeding With the Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) Version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan
JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(8):1059-1060. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2689

For more than 30 years, the standard process for reporting toxicities in clinical oncology trials has been via the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Overall, this system, which includes approximately 800 items, has served our field well, such that toxicities can be compared across clinical trials using a consistent language. Approximately 10% of the items represent symptoms (eg, fatigue, nausea) that are currently reported by clinicians. Prior studies, however, have shown that there is often a disconnect, with substantial discrepancies between patient and clinician reports of symptoms.1 This begs the question: When it comes to reporting symptomatic adverse events, should the perspective of the patient or the clinician be primarily considered?

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