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Patient-generated data improve cancer survival

Please read this research article: Landmark Digital Medicine Trial: Patient-Generated Data Improve Cancer Survival by Eric J. Topol, MD. The abstract of the trial he mentioned, written by Dr. Fabrice Denis, in this commentary is as followed:

Overall survival in patients with lung cancer using a web-application-guided follow-up compared to standard modalities: Results of phase III randomized trial.


We developed a web-application for an early detection of symptomatic relapse, complications and early supportive care in high-risk lung cancer patients between visits. A dynamical analysis of the weekly self-reported symptoms automatically triggered physician visit.


We performed a national multi-institutional phase 3 prospective randomized study to compare web-application follow-up (experimental arm) for which patient’s self-scored symptoms that were weekly sent (between planned visits) to the oncologist and a clinical routine assessment with a CT-scan (every 3-6 months or at investigator’s discretion - standard arm). High risk lung cancer patients without progression and with a 0-2 performance status (PS) after an initial treatment were included. Maintenance chemotherapy or TKI therapy were allowed. In the experimental arm, an email alert was sent to the oncologist when some predefined clinical criteria were fulfilled: an imaging was then quickly prescribed. Early supportive cares were provided if adequate. The primary endpoint was to detect an improvement of 12% in 9 months survival in favor of the experimental arm (α = 5%, β = 20%, unilateral test). The boundary for declaring superiority with respect to overall survival at the pre-planned interim analysis was a p-value of less than 0.006. The PS at relapse, the quality of life (QOL) and cost-effectiveness were also investigated.


121 patients were included in the intent-to-test survival analysis (90% were stage III/IV, median age: 65 y): 60 (61) in the experimental (standard) arms with equivalent baseline characteristics. Median follow-up was 9 months. Median overall survival in months was 19 (11.8), p=0.0014 (n  =  121; HR  =  0.33; 95 % CI, 0.16-0.67) and the PS at the first relapse was 0-1 for 81.5% (35.3%) of the patients (p<0.001) in the experimental (standard) arm.


This trial shows a significant survival improvement using Web-application-guided follow-up that allowed better PS at relapse, earlier supportive care and reduction of routine imaging.

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This article is from the free online course:

Digital Health for Cancer Management: Smart Health Technologies in Complex Diseases

Taipei Medical University