The APC and PreSAP trials: A post hoc noninferiority analysis using a comprehensive new measure for gastrointestinal tract injury in 2 randomized, double-blind studies comparing celecoxib and placebo

Nadir Arber, David Lieberman, Timothy C. Wang, Richard Zhang, George H. Sands, Monica M. Bertagnolli, Ernest T. Hawk, Craig Eagle, Javier Coindreau, Ann Zauber, Angel Lanas, Bernard Levin

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Background: Previous gastrointestinal (GI) outcomes of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) trials have focused on upper GI events, although recent evidence suggests NSAID-related lower GI effects are important and clinically relevant. Objective: We assessed the long-term GI adverse event (AE) profile of celecoxib in a nonarthritis population. The aim of this post hoc analysis was to determine the incidence of serious GI AEs, using a new Clinically Significant Upper and/or Lower GI Events end point. Methods: Patients from 2 colorectal adenoma recurrence studies were included. Patients received celecoxib 200 mg/400 mg BID, 400 mg once daily, or placebo over 3 years. The analysis measured noninferiority, using a prespecified definition of noninferiority. Celecoxib was predefined to be noninferior to placebo if the upper limit of the 95% CI for the hazard ratio (HR) with celecoxib was <1.25, at any dose, compared with the placebo (calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model). Results: A total of 3588 patients were included; in the primary analysis, the HR for celecoxib (any dose) compared with placebo was 1.22 (95% CI: 0.69-2.18; P = 0.4948). In the secondary dose analyses, the HR associated with a 400-mg daily dose, compared with placebo, was 1.04 (95% CI: 0.55-1.96; P = 0.9149); for 800 mg/d, the HR was 1.79 (95% CI: 0.82-3.89; P = 0.1427). In a third covariate analysis, low-dose aspirin use (HR = 2.33; 95% CI: 1.33-4.08) and age ≥65 years (HR = 1.82; 95% CI, 1.05-3.15) was suggested to have a statistically significant association with increased risk of GI AEs. Study limitations include retrospective evaluation and small sample size of patients with GI AEs. Conclusions: The noninferiority of celecoxib to placebo was not established because the HR for the time to the first Clinically Significant Upper and/or Lower GI Event was greater than the prespecified upper limit of 95% CI for noninferiority. In addition, HRs associated with daily doses of 400 or 800 mg celecoxib compared with placebo were not significant. However, a significantly increased risk of clinically significant upper and/or lower GI events was observed in low-dose aspirin users (≤162.5 mg average daily use) and in patients ≥65 years of age. identifiers: NCT00005094 and NCT00141193.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-579
Number of pages11
JournalClinical therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012



  • Adjudication
  • Celecoxib
  • Upper and lower serious adverse events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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