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Clinical efficacy of second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors in imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumors: a meta-analysis of recent clinical trials

Authors Wu L, Zhang Z, Yao H, Liu K, Wen Y, Xiong L

Received 10 March 2014

Accepted for publication 17 April 2014

Published 30 October 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 2061—2067


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Lile Wu, Zhongqiang Zhang, Hongliang Yao, Kuijie Liu, Yu Wen, Li Xiong

Department of General Surgery, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, People's Republic of China

Background: Primary and secondary resistance to imatinib, a selective receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), is a serious clinical problem in the control of advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Here we report on a meta-analysis we performed to evaluate the efficacy of second-generation TKIs in the treatment of patients with imatinib-resistant GIST.
Methods: Randomized controlled trials evaluating the clinical efficacy of second-generation TKIs were identified by searching PubMed and EMBASE from 2000 to February 2014. Outcomes subjected to analysis were progression-free survival and overall survival. Statistical analyses were performed using Review Manager version 5.1.0 (Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, UK). Weighted hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for the outcomes. Fixed-effects or random-effects models were used, depending on the degree of heterogeneity across the selected studies.
Results: Three randomized controlled trials were selected for meta-analysis. Among imatinib-resistant or imatinib-intolerant patients, 541 received second-generation TKIs (sunitinib, nilotinib, or regorafenib) and 267 controls received placebo or best supportive care. Progression-free survival was significantly improved in the TKI-treated group (HR 0.38; 95% CI 0.24–0.59; P<0.0001). No statistically significant difference was detected in overall survival between the treatment group and the control group (HR 0.85; 95% CI 0.71–1.03; P=0.09). In the subgroup of patients who were resistant or intolerant to both imatinib and sunitinib, TKI therapy (nilotinib or regorafenib) improved progression-free survival (HR 0.40; 95% CI 0.19–0.84; P=0.02) but not overall survival (HR 0.83; 95% CI 0.63–1.08; P=0.17). Regorafenib was shown to be effective in terms of progression-free survival across different subpopulations of patients who were resistant to both imatinib and sunitinib.
Conclusion: Second-generation TKIs (sunitinib, nilotinib, and regorafenib) are effective in improving progression-free survival but not overall survival in patients with GIST who are resistant or intolerant to imatinib or to imatinib and sunitinib. Regorafenib is promising as a third-line treatment option for patients with advanced GIST.

Keywords: tyrosine kinase inhibitor, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, imatinib, nilotinib, regorafenib

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