Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin for relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer

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Abstract

Background: Cancer of ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal origin, referred to collectively as ovarian cancer, is the eighth most common cancer in women and is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Women with relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) are less well and have a limited life expectancy, therefore maintaining quality of life with effective symptom control is an important aim of treatment. However, the unwanted effects of chemotherapy agents may be severe, and optimal treatment regimens are unclear. Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD), which contains a cytotoxic drug called doxorubicin hydrochloride, is one of several treatment modalities that may be considered for treatment of relapsed EOCs. This is an update of the original Cochrane Review which was published in Issue 7, 2013. Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of PLD, with or without other anti-cancer drugs, in women with relapsed high grade epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Search methods: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE (via Ovid) and Embase (via Ovid) from 1990 to January 2022. We also searched online registers of clinical trials, abstracts of scientific meetings and reference lists of included studies. Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated PLD in women diagnosed with relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently extracted data to a pre-designed data collection form and assessed the risk of bias according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions guidelines. Where possible, we pooled collected data in meta-analyses. Main results: This is an update of a previous review with 12 additional studies, so this updated review includes a total of 26 RCTs with 8277 participants that evaluated the effects of PLD alone or in combination with other drugs in recurrent EOC: seven in platinum-sensitive disease (2872 participants); 11 in platinum-resistant disease (3246 participants); and eight that recruited individuals regardless of platinum sensitivity status (2079 participants). The certainty of the evidence was assessed for the three most clinically relevant comparisons out of eight comparisons identified in the included RCTs. Recurrent platinum-sensitive EOC. PLD with conventional chemotherapy agent compared to alternative combination chemotherapy likely results in little to no difference in overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio (HR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.83 to 1.04; 5 studies, 2006 participants; moderate-certainty evidence) but likely increases progression-free survival (PFS) (HR 0.81, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.89; 5 studies, 2006 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). The combination may slightly improve quality of life at three months post-randomisation, measured using European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (mean difference 4.80, 95% CI 0.92 to 8.68; 1 study, 608 participants; low-certainty evidence), but this may not represent a clinically meaningful difference. PLD in combination with another chemotherapy agent compared to alternative combination chemotherapy likely results in little to no difference in the rate of overall severe adverse events (grade ≥ 3) (risk ratio (RR) 1.11, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.30; 2 studies, 834 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). PLD with chemotherapy likely increases anaemia (grade ≥ 3) (RR 1.37, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.85; 5 studies, 1961 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). The evidence is very uncertain about the effect of PLD with conventional chemotherapy on hand-foot syndrome (HFS)(grade ≥ 3) (RR 4.01, 95% CI 1.00 to 16.01; 2 studies, 1028 participants; very low-certainty evidence) and neurological events (grade ≥ 3) (RR 0.38, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.74; 4 studies, 1900 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Recurrent platinum-resistant EOC. PLD alone compared to another conventional chemotherapy likely results in little to no difference in OS (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.19; 6 studies, 1995 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). The evidence is very uncertain about the effect of PLD on PFS (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.04; 4 studies, 1803 participants; very low-certainty evidence), overall severe adverse events (grade ≥ 3) (RR ranged from 0.61 to 0.97; 2 studies, 964 participants; very low-certainty evidence), anaemia (grade ≥ 3) (RR ranged from 0.19 to 0.82; 5 studies, 1968 participants; very low-certainty evidence), HFS (grade ≥ 3) (RR ranged from 15.19 to 109.15; 6 studies, 2184 participants; very low-certainty evidence), and the rate of neurological events (grade ≥ 3)(RR ranged from 0.08 to 3.09; 3 studies, 1222 participants; very low-certainty evidence). PLD with conventional chemotherapy compared to PLD alone likely results in little to no difference in OS (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.70 to 1.21; 1 study, 242 participants; moderate-certainty evidence) and it may result in little to no difference in PFS (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.22; 2 studies, 353 participants; low-certainty evidence). The combination likely increases overall severe adverse events (grade ≥ 3) (RR 2.48, 95% CI 1.98 to 3.09; 1 study, 663 participants; moderate-certainty evidence) and anaemia (grade ≥ 3) (RR 2.38, 95% CI 1.46 to 3.87; 2 studies, 785 participants; moderate-certainty evidence), but likely results in a large reduction in HFS (grade ≥ 3) (RR 0.24, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.40; 2 studies, 785 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). It may result in little to no difference in neurological events (grade ≥ 3) (RR 1.40, 95% CI 0.85 to 2.31; 1 study, 663 participants; low-certainty evidence). Authors' conclusions: In platinum-sensitive relapsed EOC, including PLD in a combination chemotherapy regimen probably makes little to no difference in OS compared to other combinations, but likely improves PFS. Choice of chemotherapy will therefore be guided by symptoms from previous chemotherapy and other patient considerations. Single-agent PLD remains a useful agent for platinum-resistant relapsed EOC and choice of agent at relapse will depend on patient factors, e.g. degree of bone marrow suppression or neurotoxicity from previous treatments. Adding another agent to PLD likely increases overall grade ≥ 3 adverse events with little to no improvement in survival outcomes. The limited evidence relating to PLD in combination with other agents in platinum-resistant relapsed EOC does not indicate a benefit, but there is some evidence of increased side effects.

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Newhouse, R., Nelissen, E., El-Shakankery, K. H., Rogozińska, E., Bain, E., Veiga, S., & Morrison, J. (2023). Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin for relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2023(7). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD006910.pub3

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