Measuring symptoms as a critical component of drug development and evaluation in hematological diseases

Author(s): Loretta A Williams, Emre Yucel, Jorge E Cortes,Charles S Cleeland

With the rapid development of new therapies for patients with hematological malignancies, there is an increasing need for patient report of symptom status during all phases of drug testing. The patient’s perspective on new treatments reflects treatment tolerability as well as symptom benefit, and may assist patients and clinicians in choosing treatments. Inclusion of patient-reported outcomes, more common in solid-tumor than hematological trials, provides early information about symptoms to guide decisions about appropriate dosing and supportive care needs. We provide a historical overview of the use of patient-reported outcomes and symptom assessment in solid-tumor and hematological drug development, and offer recommendations about methodological issues in the monitoring of symptoms in the drug development process in hematological clinical trials.