Suggested response criteria for phase II antitumor drug studies for neurofibromatosis type 2 related vestibular schwannoma

Scott R. Plotkin, Chris Halpin, Jaishri O. Blakeley, William H. Slattery, D. Bradley Welling, Susan M. Chang, Jay S. Loeffler, Gordon J. Harris, A. Gregory Sorensen, Michael J. McKenna, Fred G. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is a tumor suppressor gene syndrome characterized by multiple schwannomas, especially vestibular schwannomas (VS), and meningiomas. Anticancer drug trials are now being explored, but there are no standardized endpoints in NF2. We review the challenges of NF2 clinical trials and suggest possible response criteria for use in initial phase II studies. We suggest two main response criteria in such trials. Objective radiographic response is defined as a durable 20% or greater reduction in VS volume based on post-contrast T1-weighted MRI images collected with 3 mm or finer cuts through the internal auditory canal. Hearing response is defined as a statistically significant improvement in word recognition scores using 50-word recorded lists in audiology. A possible composite endpoint incorporating both radiographic response and hearing response is outlined. We emphasize pitfalls in response assessment and suggest guidelines to minimize misinterpretations of response. We also identify research goals in NF2 to facilitate future trial conduct, such as identifying the expectations for time to tumor progression and time to measurable hearing loss in untreated NF2-related VS, and the relation of both endpoints to patient prognostic factors (such as age, baseline tumor volume, and measures of disease severity). These data would facilitate future use of endpoints based on stability of tumor size and hearing, which might be more appropriate for testing certain drugs. We encourage adoption of standardized endpoints early in the development of phase II trials for this population to facilitate comparison of results across trials of different agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-77
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Neurofibromatosis type 2
  • Phase II trial
  • Trial design
  • Vestibular schwannoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Suggested response criteria for phase II antitumor drug studies for neurofibromatosis type 2 related vestibular schwannoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this