Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Pre-Treated Gastric Cancer Patients: Results from a Literature-Based Meta-Analysis

Giandomenico Roviello, Silvia Paola Corona, Alberto D'Angelo, Pietro Rosellini, Stefania Nobili, Enrico Mini

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Immunotherapy has recently changed the treatment of several cancers. We performed a literature-based meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials to assess the efficacy of the novel immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in metastatic gastric cancer. The main outcome was overall survival. Based on age (cut-off agreed at 65 years), tumour location (gastric vs. gastro-oesophageal junction), programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) status, sex and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status (1 vs. 0), we scheduled a subgroup analysis for the overall survival. Three studies were included in the analysis for a total of 1456 cases (811 cases were in the experimental group and 645 cases in the control group). The pooled analysis showed improved overall survival in the experimental arm in the absence of statistical significance (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.64-1.18; p = 0.37). The subgroup of patients with PD-L1-positive tumours (HR = 0.82 vs. 1.04) and gastro-oesophageal junction cancer (HR = 0.82 vs. 1.04) showed a statistically significant advantage of overall survival. This study supports the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in the subgroup of patients with metastatic gastric cancer with PD-L1-positive and gastro-oesophageal junction tumour location. Future studies are needed with the aim of identifying reliable predictive biomarkers of ICI efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number448
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020


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