Systematic review and network meta-analyses of third-line treatments for metastatic colorectal cancer

Colorectal Cancer

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2020 Jul 27. doi: 10.1007/s00432-020-03315-6. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Limited treatment options are available in chemotherapy-refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The objective was to conduct a systematic literature review (SLR) and exploratory network meta-analysis (NMA) to compare the tolerability and effectiveness of SIRT with Y-90 resin microspheres, regorafenib, TAS-102 (trifluridine/tipiracil), and best supportive care (BSC) as third-line treatment in patients with mCRC.

METHODS: An SLR was conducted to identify studies comparing two or more of the treatments and reporting overall survival (OS), progression-free survival, tumor response, or adverse event (AE) incidence. An exploratory NMA was conducted to compare hazard ratios (HRs) for OS using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques.

RESULTS: Seven studies were identified in the SLR: two double-blind randomized-controlled trials (RCT) for each drug, one open-label RCT, and two non-randomized comparative studies for SIRT. Patient selection criteria differed between studies, with SIRT studies including patients with liver-dominant colorectal metastases. Nausea and vomiting were more frequent with TAS-102 than regorafenib or SIRT; diarrhea was more common with TAS-102 and regorafenib than SIRT. The exploratory NMA suggested that all active treatments improved OS, with HRs of 0.48 (95% CrI 0.30-0.78) for SIRT with Y-90 resin microspheres, 0.63 (0.38-1.03) for TAS-102, and 0.67 (0.40-1.08) for regorafenib each compared to BSC.

CONCLUSIONS: Regorafenib, TAS-102 and SIRT using Y-90 resin microspheres are more effective than BSC in third-line treatment of mCRC; however, study heterogeneity made comparisons between active treatments challenging. SIRT is a viable treatment for third-line mCRC and its favorable AE profile should be considered in the therapeutic decision-making process.