J Cancer 2018; 9(23):4510-4520. doi:10.7150/jca.27611 This issue Cite
1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Centre; State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Collaborative Innovation Centre of Cancer Medicine; Guangdong Key Laboratory of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Diagnosis and Therapy, Guangzhou, China
2. Department of Medical Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Centre; State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Collaborative Innovation Centre of Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China
3. Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Background: Anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibodies (anti-EGFR mAbs), such as cetuximab and nimotuzumab have been used in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), yet their efficacy and safety are undetermined.
Materials and Methods: We performed two meta-analyses based on systematic searches of PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library and SinoMed: comparison 1 (standard therapy plus mAbs vs. standard therapy) and comparison 2 (radiotherapy plus concurrent mAbs vs. concurrent chemoradiotherapy) to explore the treatment value of anti-EGFR mAbs in NPC. Primary outcomes were overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS); secondary outcomes, locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and grade 3 and above acute adverse events.
Results: Four randomized controlled trials and thirteen observational studies were eligible. Comparison 1 (twelve studies): adding mAbs to standard therapy (radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy) significantly improved OS (HR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.39-0.66) and DFS (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.54-0.86), but increased the frequency of skin rashes and mucositis. Comparison 2 (six studies): OS (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.81-1.70) and DFS (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.86-1.57) were not significantly different when mAbs replaced conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy concurrently with radiotherapy, with fewer hematological, gastrointestinal and renal toxicities and more skin rashes in the mAb group.
Conclusion: We recommend anti-EGFR mAbs enhance—but should not replace—current treatment paradigms for locoregionally advanced NPC. Further evidence from phase III clinical trials is required.
Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, anti-epidermal growth factor receptor, cetuximab, nimotuzumab, meta-analysis