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Risk of treatment-related deaths with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors: a meta-analysis of 41 randomized controlled trials

Authors Hong S, Fang W, Liang W, Yan Y, Zhou T, Qin T, Wu X, Ma Y, Zhao Y, Yang Y, Hu Z, Xue C, Hou X, Chen Y, Huang Y, Zhao H, Zhang L

Received 25 May 2014

Accepted for publication 16 July 2014

Published 7 October 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 1851—1867


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Shaodong Hong,1,* Wenfeng Fang,1,* Wenhua Liang,1,* Yue Yan,1 Ting Zhou,1 Tao Qin,1 Xuan Wu,1 Yuxiang Ma,1 Yuanyuan Zhao,1 Yunpeng Yang,1 Zhihuang Hu,1 Cong Xue,1 Xue Hou,1 Yue Chen,2 Yan Huang,1 Hongyun Zhao,1 Li Zhang1

1State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People's Republic of China; 2Medical School, University of South China, Hengyang, Hunan, People's Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have widely been used in advanced cancer. However, these drugs may also lead to serious adverse events. The present meta-analysis aimed to determine the overall incidence and risk of deaths due to VEGFR-TKIs with more detailed subgroup analysis.
Materials and methods: PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared VEGFR-TKIs with non-VEGFR-TKIs in the treatment of solid cancer. Pooled incidence, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using random-effects or fixed-effects models based on the heterogeneity of included trials.
Results: A total of 14,139 participants from 41 RCTs were enrolled. The pooled incidence of death due to VEGFR-TKIs was 1.9% (95% CI: 1.6%–2.3%) with an OR of 1.85 (95% CI: 1.33–2.58; P<0.01) when compared with control groups. On subgroup analysis, significantly increased risk of death was found in patients with nonsmall-cell lung cancer (OR: 2.37; 95% CI: 1.19–4.73; P=0.01) and colorectal cancer (OR: 2.84; 95% CI: 1.02–7.96; P=0.05). Among different VEGFR-TKIs, sorafenib and sunitinib had significant risk of death when compared with control arms, respectively. VEGFR-TKIs in combination with other antineoplastic agents, but not VEGFR-TKI monotherapy, significantly increased the risk of treatment-related deaths. No heterogeneity was noted across all the prespecified subgroups regarding ORs.
Conclusion: The present work pointed out a significantly increased risk of death due to VEGFR-TKIs. Close monitoring should be emphasized in patients receiving these drugs.

Keywords: cancer, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, treatment-related death, meta-analysis

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