Logistics in designing clinical trials for etanidazole (SR 2508): An RTOG experience

Ding Jen Lee, Theodore L. Phillips, C. Norman Coleman, Dennis Cosmatos, Lawrence W. Davis, Todd H. Wasserman, Victor A. Marcial, Philip Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In a Phase II study of etanidazole (SR 2508), the dose of 17 x 2 g/m2 (total drug dose: 34 g/m2 was tested in 33 patients and the toxicity was deemed acceptable. A Phase III trial is now in progress comparing conventional radiotherapy with conventional radiotherapy plus etandizole (2 g/m2 i.v. 30 to 60 min before radiotherapy each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to 34 g/m2 in 17 doses) in patients with unresectable head and neck carcinomas. A recent analysis showed only 14.7% grade 1 and 3.9% Grade 2 peripheral neuropathy. In the initial study design, 133 evaluable patients per treatment arm could achieve an 80% level of power of detecting a 15% difference in local-regional control rates between the radiotherapy arm (25% local-regional control at 2 years) and the radiotherapy plus etanidazole arm (assuming a 40% rate). Allowing for 20 ineligible cases in each arm, a total number of 306 was required. An interim analysis showed that 27% of the patients assigned to radiotherapy plus etanidazole are receiving less than 14 doses of the drug. It is assumed that less than 14 drug doses will not produce any therapeutic gain, therefore, a true 40% local-regional control rate in the radiotherapy plus etanidazole arm will be observed as a 36% rate when analyzed by assigned treatment. Using this information, the study was modified to have an 80% level of power in detecting a difference between a 25% local-regional control rate in the radiotherapy group and a 36% rate in the radiotherapy plus etanidazole group. Allowing for a 10% patient ineligibility rate, 518 patients are required. With 12 patients entered per month, it is estimated that patient accrual to this study will continue through October 1991.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-571
Number of pages3
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992


  • Etanidazole
  • Hypoxic cell sensitizers
  • SR 2508

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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