Both platinum-based doublet chemotherapy (PBC) and epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) prolong the survival of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In early studies, most patients underwent PBC as first-line treatment, but not all patients could afford EGFR-TKIs as second-line treatment. To understand the impact of PBC and EGFR-TKIs on NSCLC prognosis, we evaluated the association between the receipt of both regimens and overall survival (OS). Using MEDLINE and EMBASE, we identified prospective, randomized, controlled phase III clinical trials in advanced NSCLC that met the inclusion criteria: in general population with advanced NSCLC, the percentage of patients treated with both PBC and EGFR-TKIs was available in the trial and OS was reported. After collecting data from the selected trials, we correlated the percentage of patients treated with both PBC and EGFR-TKIs with the reported OS, using a weighted analysis. Fifteen phase III clinical trials-involving 11,456 adult patients in 32 arms-were included in the analysis, including 6 trials in Asian populations and 9 in non-Asian (predominantly Caucasian) populations. The OS was positively correlated with the percentage of patients treated with both PBC and EGFR-TKIs (r = 0.797, P < 0.001). The correlation was obvious in the trials in Asian populations (r = 0.936, P < 0.001) but was not statistically significant in the trials in predominantly Caucasian populations (r = 0.116, P = 0.588). These results suggest that treatment with PBC and EGFR-TKIs may provide a survival benefit to patients with advanced NSCLC, highlighting the importance of having both modalities available for therapy.
- Overall survival
- Platinum-based doublet chemotherapy
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