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The efficacy and safety of apatinib for refractory malignancies: a review and meta-analysis

Authors Sun D, Hou H, Zhang C, Zhang X

Received 6 June 2018

Accepted for publication 10 August 2018

Published 5 October 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 6539—6554


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjeev Srivastava

Dantong Sun, Helei Hou, Chuantao Zhang, Xiaochun Zhang

Department of Medical Oncology, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266003, China

Background and purpose: Apatinib is a novel, oral, small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets VEGFR-2. Recent clinical trials have revealed its broad-spectrum anticancer effect. However, most recent studies of apatinib have involved single-arm studies with insufficient cases, different doses of drugs, and different incidences of adverse events (AEs), which has resulted in a lack of accurate measurement of the efficacy and safety of apatinib. Thus, we performed this meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of apatinib.
Methods: In total, 21 studies from five databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect,, China National Knowledge Infrastructure [CNKI], and Cochrane Library) were included in this meta-analysis. All statistical analyses in this meta-analysis were performed using Stata 14.0 software. We used objective response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (DCR) to evaluate the efficacy of apatinib for five major types of solid tumors. Additionally, we used the total incidence of AEs and the incidence of the three most common grade 3–4 AEs to evaluate the safety of apatinib.
Results: The pooled results for the efficacy of apatinib in the treatment of different types of solid tumors revealed that patients treated with apatinib exhibited good disease control. In addition, it was likely that an increased dose of apatinib resulted in an increased ORR in lung and breast cancer and an increased DCR in liver and gastric cancer. Although AEs appeared in 84% of patients included in this meta-analysis, most of these AEs were of grades 1–2 and were well tolerated and controlled. The most common grade 3–4 AEs included hypertension, hand-foot syndrome, and proteinuria. Importantly, there were no significant differences in these grade 3–4 AEs with higher doses of apatinib.
Conclusion: Apatinib is a novel VEGFR-2 inhibitor with proven efficacy and safety for solid tumors. The meta-analysis reveals the broad-spectrum anticancer effect of apatinib.

Keywords: apatinib, solid tumors, objective response rate, disease control rate, adverse events

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