Cancer is a clinical condition that can benefit from anti-angiogenic drugs (AADs). Given the low prevalence and the heterogeneity of childhood cancers, information about the safety of these drugs in pediatric patients is partially assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of AADs in pediatric patients with solid tumors. Clinical trials and observational studies were searched in PubMed, ISI Web of Science, and ClinicalTrials database For each included study, adverse events (AEs) were extracted. A meta-analysis was conducted by pooling proportions of AEs using a random intercept logistic regression model. Seventy studies were retrieved. Most part were clinical trials (55 out of 70), and only fifteen observational studies were found. Overall, proportion of serious and non-serious AEs of AADs used as monotherapy was 46% and 89%, respectively. Proportions of serious AEs varied among drugs: sunitinib, 79%; lenvatinib, 64%; sorafenib, 48%; ramucirumab, 41%; pazopanib, 30%; and vandetanib, 27%. A higher proportion of non-serious hematological AEs was found in the patients receiving pazopanib with respect to sunitinib and lenvatinib. The safety profile of AADs has been extensively investigated for mostly drugs in phase I and II trials and is limited to acute toxicities. Overall, one out of two patients using AAD drugs in monotherapy experienced a serious AE despite proportions varied per single drugs. When AADs were combined with standard chemotherapy, the proportion of AEs varied in relation to the single combinations.
Keywords: anti-VEGF; antiangiogenic drugs; cancer; childhood; children; meta-analysis; pediatric; systematic review; tumor; vegf inhibitors.