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      Combination therapy versus gemcitabine monotherapy in the treatment of elderly pancreatic cancer: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          We aimed to compare the efficacy of combination therapy versus gemcitabine monotherapy in the treatment of elderly pancreatic cancer (PC) by using a meta-analysis.

          Materials and methods

          Databases were searched to identify relevant clinical trials. Hazard ratios (HRs) were used to estimate overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Statistical analyses were conducted by using Comprehensive Meta Analysis software (version 2.0).

          Results

          A total of 3,401 elderly PC patients from six randomized controlled trials were included for analysis. In comparison with gemcitabine alone, combination therapy in elderly PC patients did not significantly improve OS (HR 0.93, 95% CI: 0.82–1.06, p=0.29). Sub-group analysis according to treatment regimens showed that combined chemotherapy significantly improved OS in comparison with gemcitabine alone (HR 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56–0.94, p=0.016), while gemcitabine plus targeted agents did not improve OS (HR 1.02, 95% CI: 0.87–1.19, p=0.83). Additionally, gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel significantly improved PFS in elderly PC patients (HR 0.69, 95% CI: 0.52–0.91, p=0.009) in comparison with gemcitabine alone. No publication bias was detected by Begg’s and Egger’s tests for OS.

          Conclusion

          The findings of this study suggest that combined chemotherapy, but not for gemcitabine plus targeted agents, could be recommended for elderly PC patients due to its survival benefits. Further studies are still needed to assess the treatment tolerance of combination chemotherapy in these patient populations.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Improving the quality of reports of meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials: the QUOROM statement. Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses.

          The Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses (QUOROM) conference was convened to address standards for improving the quality of reporting of meta-analyses of clinical randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The QUOROM group consisted of 30 clinical epidemiologists, clinicians, statisticians, editors, and researchers. In conference, the group was asked to identify items they thought should be included in a checklist of standards. Whenever possible, checklist items were guided by research evidence suggesting that failure to adhere to the item proposed could lead to biased results. A modified Delphi technique was used in assessing candidate items. The conference resulted in the QUOROM statement, a checklist, and a flow diagram. The checklist describes our preferred way to present the abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections of a report of a meta-analysis. It is organised into 21 headings and subheadings regarding searches, selection, validity assessment, data abstraction, study characteristics, and quantitative data synthesis, and in the results with "trial flow", study characteristics, and quantitative data synthesis; research documentation was identified for eight of the 18 items. The flow diagram provides information about both the numbers of RCTs identified, included, and excluded and the reasons for exclusion of trials. We hope this report will generate further thought about ways to improve the quality of reports of meta-analyses of RCTs and that interested readers, reviewers, researchers, and editors will use the QUOROM statement and generate ideas for its improvement.
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            Comparison of adjuvant gemcitabine and capecitabine with gemcitabine monotherapy in patients with resected pancreatic cancer (ESPAC-4): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial.

            The ESPAC-3 trial showed that adjuvant gemcitabine is the standard of care based on similar survival to and less toxicity than adjuvant 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid in patients with resected pancreatic cancer. Other clinical trials have shown better survival and tumour response with gemcitabine and capecitabine than with gemcitabine alone in advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. We aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of gemcitabine and capecitabine compared with gemcitabine monotherapy for resected pancreatic cancer.
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              Heterogeneity testing in meta-analysis of genome searches.

              Genome searches for identifying susceptibility loci for the same complex disease often give inconclusive or inconsistent results. Genome Search Meta-analysis (GSMA) is an established non-parametric method to identify genetic regions that rank high on average in terms of linkage statistics (e.g., lod scores) across studies. Meta-analysis typically aims not only to obtain average estimates, but also to quantify heterogeneity. However, heterogeneity testing between studies included in GSMA has not been developed yet. Heterogeneity may be produced by differences in study designs, study populations, and chance, and the extent of heterogeneity might influence the conclusions of a meta-analysis. Here, we propose and explore metrics that indicate the extent of heterogeneity for specific loci in GSMA based on Monte Carlo permutation tests. We have also developed software that performs both the GSMA and the heterogeneity testing. To illustrate the concept, the proposed methodology was applied to published data from meta-analyses of rheumatoid arthritis (4 scans) and schizophrenia (20 scans). In the first meta-analysis, we identified 11 bins with statistically low heterogeneity and 8 with statistically high heterogeneity. The respective numbers were 9 and 6 for the schizophrenia meta-analysis. For rheumatoid arthritis, bins 6.2 (the HLA region that is a well-documented susceptibility locus for the disease) and 16.3 (16q12.2-q23.1) had both high average ranks and low between-study heterogeneity. For schizophrenia, this was seen for bin 3.2 (3p25.3-p22.1) and heterogeneity was still significantly low after adjusting for its high average rank. Concordance was high between the proposed metrics and between weighted and unweighted analyses. Data from genome searches should be synthesized and interpreted considering both average ranks and heterogeneity between studies. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2018
                07 March 2018
                : 12
                : 475-480
                Affiliations
                College of Life Science, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Chunbo Teng; Tao Li, College of Life Science, Northeast Forestry University, No 26 Hexing Road, Heilongjiang Province, Harbin 150040, China, Tel +86 0451 8219 0346, Fax +86 0451 8219 1784, Email chunboteng@ 123456nefu.edu.cn ; taolihaerb@ 123456163.com
                Article
                dddt-12-475
                10.2147/DDDT.S156766
                5846317
                © 2018 Jin et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Original Research

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