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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


surrogate endpoint  listen  (SER-uh-gut END-poynt)

  In clinical trials, an indicator or sign used in place of another to tell if a treatment works. Surrogate endpoints include a shrinking tumor or lower biomarker levels. They may be used instead of stronger indicators, such as longer survival or improved quality of life, because the results of the trial can be measured sooner. The use of surrogate endpoints in clinical trials may allow earlier approval of new drugs to treat serious or life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Surrogate endpoints are not always true indicators or signs of how well a treatment works.