A review and validation of overall survival extrapolation in health technology assessments of cancer immunotherapy by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: how did the initial best estimate compare to trial data subsequently made available?


Validation of overall survival (OS) extrapolations of immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) during the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Single Technology Assessment (STA) process is limited due to data still maturing at the time of submission. Inaccurate extrapolation may lead to inappropriate decision-making. The availability of more mature trial data facilitates a retrospective analysis of the plausibility and validity of initial extrapolations. This study compares these extrapolations to subsequently available longer-term data.
A systematic search of completed NICE appraisals of ICIs from March 2000 to December 2017 was performed. A targeted search was also undertaken to procure published OS data from the pivotal clinical trials for each identified STA made available post-submission to NICE. Initial Kaplan-Meier curves and associated extrapolations from NICE documentation were extracted to compare the accuracy of OS projections versus the most mature data.
The review identified 11 STAs, of which 10 provided OS data upon submission to NICE. The extrapolations undertaken considered parametric or piecewise survival models. Additional data cut-offs provided a mean of 18 months of OS beyond the end of the original data. Initial extrapolations typically under-estimated OS from the most mature data cut-off by 0.4–2.7%, depending on the choice of assessment method and use of the manufacturer- or ERG-preferred extrapolation.
Long-term extrapolation of OS is required for NICE STAs based on initial immature OS data. The results of this study demonstrate that the initial OS extrapolations employed by manufacturers and ERGs generally predicted OS reasonably well when compared to more mature data (when available), although on average they appeared to underestimate OS. This review and validation shows that, while the choice of OS extrapolation is uncertain, the methods adopted are generally aligned with later-published follow-up data and appear appropriate for informing HTA decisions.

Journal of Medical Economics
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