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Evidence from an updated meta-analysis of the prognostic impacts of postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy in patients with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma

Authors Xia Q, Wang W, Xu J, Chen X, Zhong Z, Sun C

Received 11 October 2017

Accepted for publication 10 February 2018

Published 19 April 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 2251—2257


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Quansong Xia,1,* Wei Wang,2,* Juan Xu,3 Xue Chen,2 Zhaoming Zhong,2 Chuanzheng Sun2

1Department of Clinical Laboratory, 2Department of Head and Neck Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, 3Department of Internal Medicine, The People’s Hospital of Guandu District, Kunming, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the two important postoperative management approaches for anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC), and several studies have suggested that postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy can prolong the survival of patients with ATC. However, the results remain inconsistent.
Objective: A meta-analysis was performed to address whether postoperative radiotherapy and chemotherapy could prolong the survival of patients with ATC.
Methods: Relevant studies were included, and pooled hazard ratios (HRs) together with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.
Results: Ten relevant studies on factors that affect the prognosis for ATC were included in this meta-analysis, evaluating a total of 1,163 patients. The pooled HR for overall survival (OS) was calculated using a random-effects model. The pooled results demonstrated that for all patients with resectable ATC, the combination of surgery and radiotherapy significantly reduced the risk of death compared with surgery alone (HR =0.51, 95% CI: 0.36–0.73, Z=3.66, P=0.0002). To investigate the prognostic impacts of chemotherapy in patients with ATC, we also calculated the pooled HR of chemotherapy for OS using a random-effects model; however, the pooled results suggested that chemotherapy did not prolong the survival of ATC patients compared with controls (HR =0.63, 95% CI: 0.33–1.21, Z=1.39, P=0.17).
Conclusion: This study provided evidence that currently, for patients with ATC, postoperative radiotherapy may prolong survival; in contrast, chemotherapy did not improve long-term survival.

Keywords: anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, postoperative radiotherapy, chemotherapy, prognosis, meta-analysis

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