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Immunotherapy Helps Advanced NSCLC Patients: A Meta-Analysis of 18 Randomized Controlled Trials

Hong Qin, Wenhua Li, Meifeng Xu, Keqian Zhang, Xianquan Zhang, Zhihua Ruan

Department of Oncology, Southwest Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Rev 2016; 3:55-63

DOI: 10.12659/MSRev.898561

Available online:

Published: 2016-05-01


BACKGROUND: The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of immunotherapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases, and finally 18 randomized controlled trials (RCT) were selected for analysis. The meta-analysis was performed using Stata11.0 software.
RESULTS: In total, 18 RCTs involving 4554 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The results indicated that the RR (response rate), DCR (disease control rate), overall survival (OS), PFS (progression-free survival) (p=0.002, p=0.001, p=0.024, p=0.002, respectively), and part of T lymphocyte surface antigens (CD4+ and NK+) (p=0.000, p=0.000) were significantly improved when treated with immunotherapy. However, the change of CD3+ and CD8+ between immunotherapy and control group was not significantly different.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with advanced NSCLC who are treated with immunotherapy achieve a higher response rate and longer survival.

Keywords: Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung, Immunotherapy, Active, Meta-Analysis as Topic, review