Window of opportunity trials exploit the 'window' of time after cancer diagnosis, typically prior to initiation of cancer therapy. In recent years this study design has become a more regular feature of drug development, as this 'window' provides an opportunity to carry out a thorough pharmacodynamic assessment of a therapy of interest in tumours that are unperturbed by prior treatment. Many of the first window trials interrogated the bioactivity of drugs being repurposed for cancer treatment, in particular the anti-mitochondrial agent, metformin. In this review, we describe examples of window study designs that have been used to assess drugs that target cancer metabolism with a focus on metformin. In addition, we discuss how window studies may aid the development of molecular metabolic cancer imaging.
British journal of cancer
Department of Oncology, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7LE, UK.