PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies efficacy and safety versus docetaxel monotherapy in advanced NSCLC patients after first-line treatment option: systems assessment

Qiang Su, Zhigang Sun, Chenguang Zhang, Yanli Hou _ and Bangwei Cao

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:59677-59689. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19641

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Qiang Su1, Zhigang Sun2, Chenguang Zhang3, Yanli Hou4 and Bangwei Cao1

1 Department of Oncology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

2 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jinan Center Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong University, Jinan, China

3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

4 Department of Ophthalmology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Correspondence to:

Yanli Hou, email:

Bangwei Cao, email:

Keywords: NSCLC, PD-1 antibody, PD-L1 antibody, docetaxel, meta analysis

Received: March 06, 2017 Accepted: July 12, 2017 Published: July 27, 2017


Meta-analysis was conducted to systematically assess the effectiveness and safety of programmed cell death protein-1 or ligand-1 (PD-1 or PD-L1) antibodies versus docetaxel alone in advanced non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In addition, the prognostic significance of PD-L1 expression in advanced NSCLC was also investigated. 5 eligible studies including 3579 patients were identified through comprehensive search of multiple databases. The results showed that pooled hazard ratios (HR) for overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) were 0.69 (95% CI: 0.63-0.75; p < 0.001) and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.80-0.94; p < 0.001), between PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies and docetaxel treatment arms, respectively. The pooled relative risk (RR) value for objective response rate (ORR) was 1.53, (95% CI: 1.16-2.01, p = 0.003). Further, subgroup analysis based on PD-L1 expression indicated that pooled HR for OS was significant with 0.66(95% CI: 0.59-0.74, p < 0.001) for PD-L1≥1%. However, PD-L1 < 1% had HR value of 0.79 (95% CI: 0.67-0.93, p = 0.006). Our study concluded that advanced NSCLC patients benefited more with PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies than docetaxel in the second line treatment. PD-L1≥10% in tumor tissues is sufficient to show significant improvement in patient’s outcome with PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies compared to docetaxel. Moreover, PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies treatment showed significant decrease in conventional chemotherapy adverse events, but increased immune-associated adverse effects.

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