Overcoming challenges in designing and implementing a phase II randomized controlled trial using a presurgical model to test a dietary intervention in prostate cancer

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Stephen L. George, Boyd R. Switzer, Denise C. Snyder, John F. Madden, Thomas J. Polascik, Mack Ruffin, Robin T. Vollmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The time between the diagnosis of cancer and a planned definitive surgical procedure offers a strong and direct approach for assessing the impact of interventions (including lifestyle interventions) on the biology of the target tissue and the tumor. Despite the many strengths of presurgical models, there are practical issues and challenges that arise when using this approach. Purpose/Methods: We recently completed an NIH-funded phase II trial that utilized a presurgical model in testing the comparative effects of flaxseed supplementation and/or dietary fat restriction on the biology and biomarkers associated with prostatic carcinoma. Herein, we report the rationale for our original design, discuss modifications in strategy, and relay experiences in implementing this trial related to the following topics: (1) subject accrual; (2) subject retention; (3) intervention delivery; and (4) retrieval and completion rates regarding the collection of paraffin-embedded and fresh frozen prostate tissue, blood, urine, ejaculate, anthropometric measures and survey data. Results: This trial achieved its accrual target, i.e., a racially-representative (70% white, 30% minority) sample of 161 participants, low rates of attrition (7%); and collection rates that exceeded 90% for almost all biospecimens and survey data. While the experience gained from pilot studies was invaluable in designing this trial, the complexity introduced by the collection of several biospecimens, inclusion of a team of pathologists (to provide validated readings), and shifts in practice patterns related to prostatectomy, made it necessary to revise our protocol; lessons from our experiences are offered within this article. Conclusions: While our experience specifically relates to the implementation of a presurgical model-based trial in prostate cancer aimed at testing flaxseed-supplemented and fat-restricted diets, many of the lessons learned have broad application to trials that utilize a presurgical model or dietary modification within various cancer populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-272
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Trials
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Fingerprint

Flax
Prostatic Neoplasms
Randomized Controlled Trials
Diet Therapy
Neoplasms
Fat-Restricted Diet
Dietary Fats
Prostatectomy
Paraffin
Life Style
Reading
Prostate
Biomarkers
Urine
Carcinoma
Population
Surveys and Questionnaires
Pathologists

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy ; George, Stephen L. ; Switzer, Boyd R. ; Snyder, Denise C. ; Madden, John F. ; Polascik, Thomas J. ; Ruffin, Mack ; Vollmer, Robin T. / Overcoming challenges in designing and implementing a phase II randomized controlled trial using a presurgical model to test a dietary intervention in prostate cancer. In: Clinical Trials. 2008 ; Vol. 5, No. 3. pp. 262-272.
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Overcoming challenges in designing and implementing a phase II randomized controlled trial using a presurgical model to test a dietary intervention in prostate cancer. / Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy; George, Stephen L.; Switzer, Boyd R.; Snyder, Denise C.; Madden, John F.; Polascik, Thomas J.; Ruffin, Mack; Vollmer, Robin T.

In: Clinical Trials, Vol. 5, No. 3, 01.12.2008, p. 262-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy

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AU - Snyder, Denise C.

AU - Madden, John F.

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