Importance: The role of induction chemotherapy (IC) or adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) in the treatment of locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains controversial.
Objectives: To update meta-analyses on the association of survival outcomes with IC and AC regimens in patients with locoregionally advanced NPC and assess whether the current evidence is conclusive by a trial sequential analysis (TSA) approach.
Data sources: PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were searched for articles published from inception until June 1, 2019.
Study selection: Randomized clinical trials that assessed the efficacy of radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy among previously untreated patients and patients with nondistant metastatic NPC.
Data extraction and synthesis: Data were extracted by 2 investigators from each trial independently and synthesized by the 2 investigators. All trial results were combined and analyzed by a fixed- or random-effects model.
Main outcomes and measures: Overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS).
Results: A total of 8036 patients (median age, 46.5 years; 5872 [73.1%] male) from 28 randomized clinical trials were included in the analysis. Pooled analyses revealed that concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) was significantly associated with improved OS, PFS, DMFS, and LRFS compared with radiotherapy across all subgroups. The TSA confirmed the treatment outcomes of CCRT compared with radiotherapy. The additional IC regimen was associated with an improvement in OS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.84; 95% CI, 0.74-0.95), PFS (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.64-0.84), DMFS (HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.59-0.78), and LRFS (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.64-0.85). These findings were consistent in subgroup analyses of multicenter trials with sample sizes greater than 250, years of survival rate of 5 or greater, median follow-up longer than 5 years, or low risk of bias. However, the additional AC regimen was not associated with a survival benefit in OS (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.78-1.23), PFS (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.70-1.07), DMFS (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.64-1.10), or LRFS (HR, 0.80, 95% CI, 0.59-1.09). The TSA provided sound evidence on the additional benefit of IC but not AC.
Conclusions and relevance: These data suggest a significant association of survival outcomes with CCRT in patients with locoregionally advanced NPC. The addition of IC instead of AC could achieve survival benefits. The potential therapeutic gain of AC should be explored in the future.
Conflict of interest statement
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The efficacy and safety of docetaxel, cisplatin and fluorouracil (TPF)-based induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy for locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a meta-analysis.Clin Transl Oncol. 2020 Mar;22(3):429-439. doi: 10.1007/s12094-019-02142-7. Epub 2019 Jun 4. Clin Transl Oncol. 2020. PMID: 31165410
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Cited by 1 article
Error in Results.JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Nov 1;2(11):e1917197. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.17197. JAMA Netw Open. 2019. PMID: 31722019 Free PMC article. No abstract available.