Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2017 10 02() JCO2017740761 doi 10.1200/JCO.2017.74.0761
Purpose Broadening trial eligibility to improve accrual and access and to better reflect intended-to-treat populations has been recognized as a priority. Historically, patients with brain metastases have been understudied, because of restrictive eligibility across all phases of clinical trials. Methods In 2016, after a literature search and series of teleconferences, a multistakeholder workshop was convened. Our working group focused on developing consensus recommendations regarding the inclusion of patients with brain metastases in clinical trials, as part of a broader effort that encompassed minimum age, HIV status, and organ dysfunction. The working group attempted to balance the needs of protecting patient safety, facilitating access to investigational therapies, and ensuring trial integrity. On the basis of input at the workshop, guidelines were further refined and finalized. Results The working group identified three key populations: those with treated/stable brain metastases, defined as patients who have received prior therapy for their brain metastases and whose CNS disease is radiographically stable at study entry; those with active brain metastases, defined as new and/or progressive brain metastases at the time of study entry; and those with leptomeningeal disease. In most circumstances, the working group encourages the inclusion of patients with treated/stable brain metastases in clinical trials. A framework of key considerations for patients with active brain metastases was developed. For patients with leptomeningeal disease, inclusion of a separate cohort in both early-phase and later-phase trials is recommended, if CNS activity is anticipated and when relevant to the specific disease type. Conclusion Expanding eligibility to be more inclusive of patients with brain metastasis is justified in many cases and may speed the development of effective therapies in this area of high clinical need.