This looks impressive. The 3 mg dose of enobosarm produced an almost 22 percent mean improvement in stair climb power compared to just a 4.7 percent mean improvement for the placebo patients.
The stair climb power data in the chart right above depicts the same benefit in a different way. Note the mean 2.21-watt improvement in stair climb power for placebo patients, which is much smaller than the mean 16.81-watt improvement for the enobosarm 3 mg patients.
But it's impossible to interpret these so-called improvements in muscle function without first knowing the relative strength (or weakness) of each patient group before the study began.
This is where it gets interesting, because the mean baseline stair climb power is not disclosed anywhere in the Lancet Oncology paper. If there was an imbalance in mean stair climb power at baseline, it could explain away the observed enobosarm benefit.Sure enough, that's exactly what happened in the phase IIb study. Mean baseline stair climb power -- at the start of the study -- was 46 watts for placebo patients compared to 80 watts for the 3 mg enobosarm patients.
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