Table 2

Outcomes and definitions

% (n = 47) articles


Primary outcome

Overall survival

66 (31)

Disease free survival (DFS)

34 (16)


Definition of outcomes

Overall survival (n = 31)

Explicitly death from any cause

15 (7)

Cancer death only

21 (10)

Type of death unclear

30 (14)

Disease free survival (n = 16)

DFS including death*

10 (5)

DFS not including death

13 (6)

DFS but unclear if includes death

10 (5)

Multivariable outcome clearly defined‡

60 (28)


* In one study it was not clear if DFS deaths included all deaths or only cancer specific deaths

‡ In two articles it was unclear how many outcomes were examined

Mallett et al. BMC Medicine 2010 8:20   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-20

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