ESMO-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale for haematological malignancies (ESMO-MCBS:H) version 1.0.
BACKGROUND: The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)-Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale (MCBS) has been accepted as a robust tool to evaluate the magnitude of clinical benefit reported in trials for oncological therapies. However, the ESMO-MCBS hitherto has only been validated for solid tumours. With the rapid development of novel therapies for haematological malignancies, we aimed to develop an ESMO-MCBS version that is specifically designed and validated for haematological malignancies. METHODS: ESMO and the European Hematology Association (EHA) initiated a collaboration to develop a version for haematological malignancies (ESMO-MCBS:H). The process incorporated five landmarks: field testing of the ESMO-MCBS version 1.1 (v1.1) to identify shortcomings specific to haematological diseases, drafting of the ESMO-MCBS:H forms, peer review and revision of the draft based on re-scoring (resulting in a second draft), assessment of reasonableness of the scores generated, final review and approval by ESMO and EHA including executive boards. RESULTS: Based on the field testing results of 80 haematological trials and extensive review for feasibility and reasonableness, five amendments to ESMO-MCBS were incorporated in the ESMO-MCBS:H addressing the identified shortcomings. These concerned mainly clinical trial endpoints that differ in haematology versus solid oncology and the very indolent nature of nevertheless incurable diseases such as follicular lymphoma, which hampers presentation of mature data. In addition, general changes incorporated in the draft version of the ESMO-MCBS v2 were included, and specific forms for haematological malignancies generated. Here we present the final approved forms of the ESMO-MCBS:H, including instructions. CONCLUSION: The haematology-specific version ESMO-MCBS:H allows now full applicability of the scale for evaluating the magnitude of clinical benefit derived from clinical studies in haematological malignancies.