Evaluation of first-line and salvage therapies for unresectable malignant mesothelioma: A systematic review and network meta-analysis

Critical Reviews in Oncology and Hematology 2024 April 26 [Link]

Wei Zhuang, Lihui Liu, Boyang Sun, Hua Bai, Zhijie Wang, Jianchun Duan, Rui Wan, Zixiao Ma, Jia Zhong, Jie Wang


Background: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of systemic therapies for unresectable malignant mesothelioma have reported conflicting results. It is crucial and urgent to find optimal treatment options for this malignancy, which currently has a poor prognosis.

Methods: Databases PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, ClinicalTrials.gov, and major international conferences were searched until February 29, 2024. The main outcomes of interest were overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), overall response rate (ORR), and grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs).

Results: We analyzed 16 RCTs with a total of 5018 patients. Among first-line therapies, nivolumab and ipilimumab significantly increased OS and resulted in fewer grade ≥3 TRAEs. Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy significantly increased PFS. Among salvage therapies, ramucirumab and chemotherapy was associated with the best OS and PFS, but resulted in more grade ≥3 TRAEs. Subgroup analysis by histologic types suggested that in first-line settings, bevacizumab and chemotherapy increase OS the most for epithelioid type, while the nivolumab plus ipilimumab treatment increases OS the most for non-epithelioid type. In salvage therapies, ramucirumab and chemotherapy increase OS for both epithelioid and non-epithelioid types.

Conclusion: Nivolumab plus ipilimumab was associated with the best OS among first-line treatments. Ramucirumab and chemotherapy was associated with the best clinical outcomes in salvage settings. Treatment for malignant mesothelioma should be tailored based on different clinicopathological characteristics.