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Combined atezolizumab and nab-paclitaxel in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer: a meta-analysis on their efficacy and safety

BMC Cancer. 2022 Nov 5;22(1):1139. doi: 10.1186/s12885-022-10225-y.


BACKGROUND: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is clinically aggressive breast cancer with a poor prognosis. Approximately 20% of TNBC has been found to express programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), making it a potential therapeutic target. As a PD-L1 inhibitor, atezolizumab is a recently approved immunotherapeutic drug for TNBC, this meta-analysis (MA) was aimed to review the randomized controlled trial studies (RCTs) of combined atezolizumab and nab-paclitaxel in the treatment of TNBC and synthesize the evidence-based results on its effectiveness and safety.

METHOD: We searched PubMed, Embase, EBSCOhost and for the eligible RCTs which compared the efficacy and safety of combined atezolizumab and nab-paclitaxel with nab-paclitaxel alone. The outcomes analyzed included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR) and treatment-related adverse effects (AEs).

RESULTS: A total of six RCTs were included in this MA. For efficacy, although OS was not significantly prolonged with combined atezolizumab and nab-paclitaxel (HR 0.90, 95% CI [0.79, 1.01], p=0.08), this combination therapy significantly improved PFS (HR 0.72, 95% CI [0.59, 0.87], p=0.0006) and ORR (RR 1.25, 95% CI [0.79, 1.01] p<0.00001). For safety, any AEs, haematological, gastrointestinal, and liver AEs showed no statistically significant differences between the atezolizumab and nab-paclitaxel combination group and nab-paclitaxel alone group. However, serious AEs, high grade, dermatological, pulmonary, endocrine, and neurological AEs were significantly lower with nab-paclitaxel alone compared to atezolizumab and nab-paclitaxel combined (p-value range from <0.00001 to 0,02).

CONCLUSION: Atezolizumab combined with nab-paclitaxel was associated with improved outcomes in the treatment of TNBC; however, this combination resulted in more toxicity compared to nab-paclitaxel alone. While nab-paclitaxel alone produced chemotherapy-related AEs, the combination of atezolizumab with nab-paclitaxel produced AEs, especially immune-related AEs such as haematological, pulmonary, endocrine, and neurological AEs.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This research work of systematic review has been registered on PROSPERO (Registration number: CRD42022297952).

PMID:36335316 | DOI:10.1186/s12885-022-10225-y

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