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Studying the Risk of Cancer with Topical Calcineurin Inhibitor Use in Children: Design Issues. Lois La Grenade, MD, MPH Center for Drug Evaluation & Research Office of Drug Safety. Outline. Observational studies - general methods

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studying the risk of cancer with topical calcineurin inhibitor use in children design issues

Studying the Risk of Cancer with Topical Calcineurin Inhibitor Use in Children: Design Issues

Lois La Grenade, MD, MPH

Center for Drug Evaluation & Research

Office of Drug Safety

outline
Outline
  • Observational studies - general methods
  • Methods for risk of cancer with long term use of calcineurin inhibitors (CI) in children with atopic dermatitis (AD)
epidemiologic methods
Epidemiologic Methods
  • Observational Studies
    • Case Control
    • Cohort
    • Registries
case control studies
Case Control Studies
  • Retrospective
    • Start with disease of interest (cases),
    • Compare with people without disease (controls)
    • Compare frequency of the exposure of interest between cases & controls
case control studies advantages
Case Control Studies - Advantages
  • Less expensive
  • Relatively quick
  • Generally useful for studying most rare events, with common exposures
case control studies disadvantages
Case Control Studies - Disadvantages
  • Subject to several biases
    • Recall
    • Selection
  • Unsuitable for studying diseases with very long latency periods, e.g. cancer
  • Difficult for rare exposures
cohort studies
Cohort Studies
  • Compare exposed vs. non-exposed persons
  • Start with a defined group of people (defined by exposure, disease, place of residence etc.)
  • Followed through time for occurrence of disease(s) of interest
  • Prospective
cohort studies advantages
Cohort Studies - Advantages
  • Cases & exposure determined prospectively, so recall bias minimized
  • All cases can potentially be captured, so selection bias reduced
  • Can study several outcomes or diseases
  • Most closely resemble experimental design – toxin administered, then follow for outcome
  • Consequent high acceptance by scientific community
cohort studies disadvantages
Cohort Studies - Disadvantages
  • More expensive
  • Large sample sizes for rare diseases
  • Long
  • Problems from losses to follow-up
retrospective cohort studies
Retrospective Cohort Studies
  • Can be used to overcome disadvantages of prospective cohorts viz. length
  • Use a preexisting cohort, e.g. occupational cohort, cohort exposed to a drug of interest
  • Instead of comparison controls, can compare disease with population incidence rates (Standardized Incidence Ratio - SIR)
registries
Registries
  • Exposure based – occupational, drug exposures
  • Disease based – State & National Cancer Registries
  • Complete (usually mandatory) – all subjects with exposure/disease captured
  • Incomplete (usually voluntary) – only some cases/exposed persons captured
uses of registries in epidemiology
Uses of Registries in Epidemiology
  • Exposure registries – cases ascertained in exposure cohort e.g. cohort of drug exposed people
  • Case based registries – as source of cases for case control study
  • Complete registries generally far more useful
    • Can be used to determine incidence rates when based in defined population
    • Incidence of rare events with rare exposures
cancer risk with calcineurin inhibitor ci use in children with ad
Cancer Risk with Calcineurin Inhibitor (CI) Use in Children with AD
  • Special problems with cancer studies
    • Rare events, particularly in the young
    • Very long latency, i.e. many years between exposure & clinically apparent cancer
  • Prospective method (cohort or registry) ideal
cohort design
Cohort Design
  • Prospective
    • Exposure assessment, accurate, standardized
      • Dose, duration of topical CI can be assessed
    • Case ascertainment, complete, accurate
    • Data on confounding/risk factors
cohort study indication
Cohort Study - Indication
  • There is good evidence of an association between a disease & an exposure
    • Clinical studies
    • Case control studies
    • Other studies e.g. animal studies*
  • Introduction of a new agent that requires monitoring for its possible association with several diseases**

*Gordis, Epidemiology, 1996

**Kelsey et al, Methods in Observational Epidemiology,1996

international monitoring of adverse drug reactions of long latency
“International Monitoring of Adverse Drug Reactions of Long Latency”

Fletcher AP, Griffin JP

Adverse Drug React. Toxicol. Rev. 1991, 10 (4) 209 – 230

“for adverse reactions of long latency to be detected methods have to be used that permit observation of the patient to be followed for many months or years…..An essential requirement is the identification of a cohort of patients exposed to a particular drug ….who may be accessed at specified intervals of time.”

cohort study design cancer risk with calcineurin inhibitor ci use in children with ad
Cohort Study Design - Cancer Risk with Calcineurin Inhibitor (CI) Use in Children with AD
  • Background
  • Objectives
  • Population
  • Sample Size/Power
  • Exposure definition & assessment
  • Endpoint (cancers) definition & ascertainment
  • Measures to reduce bias – losses to follow-up
  • Analysis Plan
background
Background
  • Enhanced photocarcinogenicity with both topical CI vehicles
  • Carcinogenicity studies – signal for lymphoma & other systemic malignancies
  • Oral CI use associated with ↑ risk of lymphoma, cutaneous & other malignancies
objective
Objective
  • To investigate the risk of developing cutaneous & systemic malignancies in children with atopic dermatitis (AD) who have long term intermittent treatment with topical CIs
outcomes of interest
Outcomes of Interest
  • Cutaneous malignancies
    • Melanoma
    • Non-melanoma (basal & squamous)
  • Systemic
    • Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s, NHL)
    • Others
  • Additional cutaneous end points, e.g. actinic keratoses?
population
Population
  • Traditional study
    • Cohort of children (aged 2 - 16 years) with AD
    • Follow for 10 – 15 years
    • Document treatment type, response, confounding factors e.g. sunlight exposure, skin type, disease severity
    • Document occurrence of malignancies as they occur
  • At end of follow up, compare incidence in CI treated vs. non-CI treated group
cohort population
Cohort - Population
  • Traditional study - difficulties
    • Very long
    • Very large sample size
    • May find that most patients have used both CI and non-CI treatment regimens (or vice versa) and comparison may be difficult
cohort population alternate method
Cohort – Population (Alternate method)
  • Cohort of CI users (aged 2 – 16 years) with AD
    • Follow subjects for minimum 10 year period
    • Use age specific population incidence rates for cancer as comparator
    • (Standardized Incidence Ratio, SIR)
    • Similar to occupational epidemiology methods
sir approach difficulties
SIR Approach - Difficulties
  • No US national incidence rates for most cutaneous malignancies
  • May have to extrapolate from data from other countries, e.g. Finland, or from US local data e.g. Southeastern Arizona
slide26

*US Age Specific Incidence of all Malignancies per 100,000, by gender

*Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (www.seer.cancer.gov) SEER*Stat Database: Incidence - SEER 9 Regs Public-Use, Nov 2002 Sub (1973-2000), National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program, Cancer Statistics Branch, released April 2003, based on the November 2002 submission.

slide27

Age Specific Incidence of SCC per 100,000, by gender, Southeastern Arizona*

Males

Females

*Harris RB et al, 2001, JAAD (43):4, 528-536

slide28

Age Specific Incidence of BCC per 100,000, by gender, Southeastern Arizona*

Males

Females

*Harris RB et al, 2001, JAAD (43):4, 528-536

power sample size calculations
Power/Sample Size Calculations*

*Background rate 6/10,000 represents annual incidence rate for all cancers in 25 - 29 age group, SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1999

Power 80%,  0.05

power sample size calculations30
Power & Sample Size Calculations

*Annual incidence rate for all cancers in 15 - 19 age group, SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2000

Power 80%,  0.05

power sample size calculations31
Power & Sample Size Calculations

*Annual incidence rate for lymphoma in 0 - 19 age group, SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1999

Power 80%,  0.05

probability of finding no event with defined sample sizes lymphoma
Probability of finding no event with defined sample sizes – Lymphoma*

*Incidence 24.1/million, Age 0-19 years, SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1999

probability of finding no event with defined sample sizes
Probability of finding no event with defined sample sizes

N=10,000

N=20,000

*Lymphoma incidence 24.1/million, Age 0-19 years

sample size power
Sample Size/Power
  • Multicenter, multinational cohort would boost sample size and power considerably
  • Use of additional end points, e.g. AK, might also increase power
ak as additional end point
AK as additional End Point
  • Actinic Keratoses (AK)
    • precancerous skin lesions, proliferation of abnormal keratinocytes within epidermis
    • SCC in situ
    • may become SCC (60% of all SCC may start as AK*)
    • Very rare in young people

* Fu W & Cockerell C, 2003 Arch Dermatol,139:66-70

exposure definition
Exposure Definition
  • Need to define “long term intermittent exposure” to CIs
    • At enrollment
  • Suggestions
    • 6 weeks/3 months continuous or intermittent use
    • 30 GM over 6 weeks
exposure assessment enrollment during study
Exposure Assessment (Enrollment & During Study)
  • Possibilities
    • Prescription + Self report by care giver
    • Return unused portions of tubes
    • Weigh unused tubes/portions
  • Consider additional burden on participants (losses to follow-up) vs. more accurate information
ascertainment of malignancies
Ascertainment of Malignancies
  • Pathologic/histologic definitions
  • ICD codes
  • Systemic malignancies could be ascertained by linkage with state/national cancer registries, once a unique identifier was obtained for each subject at baseline
  • But not true for most cutaneous malignancies
  • Self reporting of cutaneous malignancies unreliable
ascertainment of cutaneous malignancies
Ascertainment of Cutaneous Malignancies
  • Most state & national cancer registries collect limited data on skin malignancies (usually data on invasive melanomas only)
  • Non-melanoma skin cancers (basal & squamous cell cancers) often treated in office procedure
  • Basal cell cancers (BCC) & AK may be treated with cryotherapy or electrocautery, without even histology
ascertainment of cutaneous malignancies40
Ascertainment of Cutaneous Malignancies
  • Best done by periodic (annual?) physical examination (PE) of the skin by physician, preferably a dermatologist
  • PE particularly important for good capture of all cutaneous outcomes & hence early, accurate assessment of the risk
follow up
Follow-up
  • Duration
    • Minimum 10 years for each subject, in keeping with long latent period for cancers
minimizing losses to follow up
Minimizing Losses to Follow-up
  • Losses to follow-up
    • Important source of bias in cohort studies of long duration
  • So vigorous methods will have to be used to reduce losses to follow-up
  • Statistical methods to handle losses to follow-up
statistical analysis plan
Statistical Analysis Plan
  • Crude & adjusted incidence rate,
  • SIR
  • Methods for handling losses to follow-up
registry cancer risk with calcineurin inhibitor ci use in children with ad
Registry - Cancer Risk with Calcineurin Inhibitor (CI) Use in Children with AD

Ideal:

  • Exposure registry
  • Registration of all users of CIs (probably mandatory), prospective collection of unique identifier (e.g. SSN)
  • Link to state/national cancer registries for detecting systemic malignancies
  • Would still need periodic examination by physician to ascertain skin cancers
mandatory registry advantages
Mandatory Registry - Advantages
  • All users registered
  • Minimal survivor bias, minimal losses to follow-up
  • If ascertainment of malignancies were also complete, registry would provide fastest incidence results
mandatory registry disadvantages
Mandatory Registry - Disadvantages
  • Poor acceptance by physicians & patients
  • Expensive
  • No accurate exposure assessment
  • No data on confounding factors
  • Not possible to ascertain most skin cancers
practical issues
Practical Issues
  • Duration of follow-up
  • Sample Size/Power
  • Endpoint (cancers) ascertainment
    • How often, by whom
  • Measures to reduce bias
    • losses to follow-up
  • What level of uncertainty?
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Yi Tsong, PhD. Actg. Deputy Director, QMR, OB
  • David Graham, MD, MPH, Associate Director for Science, ODS