1. Department of Oncology, Guang' anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.
2. School of Graduates, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Background: Numerous studies have indicated that some Chinese herbal injections (CHIs) might have a beneficial treatment effect when used in combination with chemotherapy. However, the results of these studies have been inconsistent. The aim of this network meta-analysis (NMA) was to evaluate and compare the clinical efficacy and safety of different CHIs combined with gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GP) regimen chemotherapy with that of GP regimen chemotherapy alone in the treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Materials and Methods: Eight databases were systematically searched to identify randomized clinical trials (RCTs) from the date of inception of the database to August 11, 2021. The primary outcome measures were the objective response rate (ORR) and adverse reactions (including nausea and vomiting, and leukopenia). The secondary outcome measures were median survival time (MST) and quality of life (QOL). The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Standard pair-wise and Bayesian NMAs were carried out to compare the effectiveness and safety of different CHIs combined with GP regimen chemotherapy using WinBUGS 14 and Stata 15.1 software. Sensitivity analysis and Egger's test were also performed to check robust.
Results: A total of 92 eligible RCTs involving 7,728 patients and 10 CHIs were included. The results showed that Kangai injection (KAI), Kanglaite injection (KLT), Aidi injection and Compound Kushen (CKSI) injection displayed obvious advantages in both efficacy and safety. Aidi+GP (79.0%) showed great advantages of ORR, and KAI+GP and KLT+GP had the lowest probability in terms of leukopenia (4.4%) and nausea and vomiting (24.2%). Besides, KLT+GP was shown to positively affect MST. According to the subgroup analyses, CHIs might have a limited effect in reducing adverse reactions, and have a similar effect in squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
Conclusions: KAI+GP of adjuvant drugs, Aidi+GP and CKSI+GP of anticancer drugs appeared to be the advantageous treatment options for patients with advanced NSCLC, owing to its superior therapeutic performance and reduced adverse reactions. KLT+GP might prolong survival. Nevertheless, additional results from multicenter trials and high-quality studies will be pivotal in supporting our findings.
Keywords: Chinese herb injections, NSCLC, GP regimen chemotherapy, network meta-analysis