First-line treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer: systematic review and network meta-analysis

Lisa M. Hess, Amy M. DeLozier, Fanni Natanegara, Xiaofei Wang, Victoria Soldatenkova, Alan Brnabic, Stephen L. Able, Jacqueline Brown


Background: The objectives of this systematic review and meta-analysis were to compare the survival, toxicity, and quality of life of patients treated with necitumumab in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin. These agents were investigated in published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of patients with squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the first-line setting.
Methods: The systematic review was executed on January 27, 2015, and updated on August 21, 2016, using a pre-specified search strategy. Searches were conducted using PubMed, Medline, and EMBASE, with supplemental searches using the Evidence Based Medicine Reviews and to identify RCTs published in English from 1995–2016 and reporting at least one of the primary outcomes [overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), toxicity, or quality of life] in patients who received first-line treatment for advanced or metastatic squamous NSCLC. Study quality and risk of bias were assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale and Cochrane risk of bias tool, respectively. A Baysian network meta-analysis was performed on the primary outcomes. Hazard ratios (HRs) were evaluated for the primary analysis; secondary analyses were conducted using median OS data. Planned sensitivity analyses were conducted including reanalysis using a Frequentist approach and limiting analyses to subsets based on clinical and demographic covariates.
Results: The systematic literature review resulted in identification of 4,016 unique publications; 40 publications (35 unique trials) were eligible for inclusion. Eight studies connected to a common network for the OS analysis using HR data. The majority of studies were not limited to squamous NSCLC, thus analyzable data were limited to a subset of data within the published trials. Carboplatin + S-1 and necitumumab in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin were associated with lower HRs for OS versus all other comparators. Nine studies connected to the network for the PFS analysis in which necitumumab in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin was associated with the lowest HR. Data were not available to analyze toxicity or quality of life.
Conclusions: Although the results suggest that carboplatin + S-1 and necitumumab in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin may have value in terms of OS versus other comparators, the results should be interpreted with caution due to the limited number of studies (with few focused exclusively on squamous NSCLC) and wide credible intervals.