A systematic review and network meta-analysis of adjuvant therapy for curatively resected biliary tract cancers
Background Recent randomized controlled trials (rcts) have contributed high-quality data about adjuvant therapy in curatively resected biliary tract cancer (btc); however, a standard approach to treating those patients still has not been developed.
Methods We conducted a systematic review of published studies and abstracts up to and including June 2018, choosing rcts involving patients with btc receiving adjuvant chemotherapy after complete surgical resection. Network meta-analysis methods were used for indirect comparisons of overall survival (os) and relapse-free survival (rfs) for various adjuvant therapies.
Results Five rcts were included in qualitative synthesis, and three rcts (bilcap, prodige 12–accord 18, and bcat) had data sufficient for inclusion in the meta-analysis. Results from the indirect comparison demonstrated no significant improvement in os for capecitabine compared with gemcitabine or with gemcitabine–oxaliplatin (gemox), the hazard ratios (hrs) being 0.82 [95% confidence interval (ci): 0.53 to 1.27] and 0.86 (95% ci: 0.56 to 1.34) respectively. Similarly, no significant improvement in rfs was observed for capecitabine compared with gemcitabine or gemox.
Conclusions Although in the present analysis, we found no statistically significant improvements in os or rfs for capecitabine compared with gemox or gemcitabine, capecitabine can—until further prospective trials are completed— be considered the standard of care in the adjuvant setting based on a single randomized phase iii study.