Purpose: Performance status (PS) is one of the most common eligibility criteria. Many trials are limited to patients with high-functioning PS, resulting in important differences between trial participants and patient populations with the disease. In addition, existing PS measures are subjective and susceptible to investigator bias.
Experimental Design: A multidisciplinary working group of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Friends of Cancer Research evaluated how PS eligibility criteria could be more inclusive. The working group recommendations are based on a literature search, review of trials, simulation study, and multistakeholder consensus. The working group prioritized inclusiveness and access to investigational therapies, while balancing patient safety and study integrity.
Results: Broadening PS eligibility criteria may increase the number of potentially eligible patients for a given clinical trial, thus shortening accrual time. It may also result in greater participant diversity, potentially reduce trial participant and patient disparities, and enable clinicians to more readily translate trial results to patients with low-functioning PS. Potential impact on outcomes was explored through a simulation trial demonstrating that when the number of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS2 participants was relatively small, the effect on the estimated HR and power was modest, even when PS2 patients did not derive a treatment benefit.
Conclusions: Expanding PS eligibility criteria to be more inclusive may be justified in many cases and could result in faster accrual rates and more representative trial populations.