17 July 2015
Background: Due to the lack of studies, it remains unclear whether the additional neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) to concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) is superior to CCRT alone for locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The main objective of this Bayesian network meta-analysis was to determine the efficacy of NACT+CCRT as compared with CCRT alone.
Methods: We comprehensively searched databases and extracted data from randomized controlled trials involving NPC patients who received NACT+CCRT, CCRT, NACT+radiotherapy (RT), or RT. Overall survival (OS) with hazard ratio (HR), and locoregional recurrence rate (LRR) and distant metastasis rate (DMR) with relative risks (RRs), were concerned.
Results: Nine trials involving 1988 patients were analyzed. In the network meta-analysis, there was significant benefit of NACT+CCRT over CCRT for DMR (RR=0.54, 95% credible interval [CrI]=0.27-0.94). However, NACT+CCRT had a tendency to worsen locoregional control significantly as compared with CCRT (RR =1.71, 95%CrI =0.94-2.84), and no significant improvement in OS was found (HR =0.73, 95%CrI=0.40-1.23).
Conclusions: NACT+CCRT is associated with reduced distant failure as compared with CCRT alone, and whether the additional NACT can improve survival for locoregionally advanced NPC should be further explored. Optimizing regimens and identifying patients at high risk of metastasis may enhance the efficacy of NACT+CCRT.