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Response to: ‘Unified definition of relapse-free survival should be used for evaluating survival benefit in oesophageal adenocarcinoma’ by Li
  1. Anita Lavery,
  2. Jaine K Blayney,
  3. Richard C Turkington
  1. Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard C Turkington, Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7AE, UK; r.turkington{at}

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We appreciate the commentary of Dr Li regarding our study on the application of the DNA Damage Immune Response (DDIR) assay to predict benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy in oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC).1 2 We do not agree that there is a single, unified definition of relapse-free survival (RFS) and, indeed, the variation in definitions is a well-described problem in clinical trials. A key difference is the inclusion of deaths in the absence of evidence of tumour regrowth as recurrences, rather than censored events. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has commented that the ‘application of the definition of relapse or disease-free …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.