Medical Student University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Background: Brain metastases (BM) are common in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to assess the comparative effectiveness of treatments for BM from NSCLC.
Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, CENTRAL and references of key studies for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published until October 2018. We also searched the Chinese databases Wanfang Data, Wanfang Med Online, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Chongqing VIP Information for RCTs published until September 2019. Trials including > 10 patients were selected. The primary outcomes were overall survival (OS) and intracranial progression-free survival (PFS). We used a frequentist random-effects model for network meta-analysis and assessed the certainty of evidence using the GRADE approach.
Results: Among 8798 abstracts, 106 RCTs (9452 patients) met inclusion criteria. Median sample size was 67 (range 25-554). All trials included adult patients with histologically proven NSCLC and >1 BM proven on CT/MRI. Of trials that reported performance status (e.g. ECOG or KPS, n=67), 63/67 excluded patients with non-favorable performance status. Interventions assessed included surgery, WBRT, SRS, targeted therapies (i.e. EGFR/ALK inhibitors), and chemotherapy. Compared to WBRT alone, several interventions demonstrated a statistically significant increase in median OS, including non-targeted chemotherapy + surgery (MD: 415.3 days, 95% CI: 31.3-799.4), WBRT + EGFRi (MD: 200.2 days, 95% CI:146.3-254.1), and EGFRi alone (MD: 169.7 days, 95% CI: 49.7-289.7). Among all interventions, only WBRT + EGFRi showed a significant improvement in median PFS (MD: 108.0 days, 95%CI: 48.5-167.5).
Conclusions: Our preliminary analyses indicate an OS and PFS benefit on the addition of EGFR inhibitors to WBRT for the treatment of BMs from NSCLC. Further analyses of hazard ratios for OS/PFS are underway, and subgroup analyses are planned.These data support the growing role of targeted therapies in the treatment of BMs, particularly in susceptible mutant tumours.