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Comment & Response
November 15, 2018

Detecting a Survival Benefit to Dose Escalation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla
JAMA Oncol. Published online November 15, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.5055

To the Editor We commend Michalski et al1 for reporting the anticipated results of RTOG 0126, and in particular, for reporting the incidences of both all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Surprisingly, many trials do not report this vital information.2 The incidence of prostate cancer mortality was unexpectedly low in their trial, possibly owing to improvement in salvage therapies and changes in the patient population. We are concerned that the proposed effect size (hazard ratio, 0.77) on overall survival (OS) was, in retrospect, mathematically infeasible, and therefore the true power of this study to detect an OS benefit with dose escalation is much lower than 90%.

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