Comparative efficacy of palbociclib, ribociclib and abemaciclib for ER+ metastatic breast cancer: an adjusted indirect analysis of randomized controlled trials
Several trials have demonstrated the benefit of anti-CDK4/6 inhibitors plus endocrine therapy in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) advanced breast cancer (BC), in first or subsequent lines of therapy. However, due to the lack of direct/indirect comparisons, there are no data demonstrating the superiority of one drug over the other. We compared the effectiveness of palbociclib, ribociclib, and abemaciclib in advanced ER + BC via an indirect adjusted analysis.
We performed electronic searches in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases for prospective phase 3 randomized trials evaluating anti-CDK4/6 inhibitors plus endocrine agents. We compared the results with an adjusted indirect analysis of randomized-controlled trials. Outcomes of interest were progression-free survival (PFS), overall response rate (ORR) and G3–4 toxicities occurring in ≥ 5% of patients.
Six trials and six treatment arms including a total of 3743 participants, were included. For PFS and ORR analysis, the three agents were similar in both first- and second-line studies. All G3–4 toxicities were similar, with reduced risk of diarrhea for palbociclib versus abemaciclib (relative risk [RR] 0.13, 95% CI 0.02–0.92; P = 0.04) and of QTc prolongation for palbociclib versus ribociclib (RR 0.02, 95% CI 0–0.83; P = 0.03). Despite different inclusion criteria and length of follow-up, similar features were noticed among second-line studies with the exception of increased risk of anemia G3–4 and diarrhea G3–4 for abemaciclib.
Based on PFS and ORR results of this indirect meta-analysis, palbociclib, ribociclib, and abemaciclib are equally effective in either first- or second-line therapy for advanced ER + BC. They, however, ported different toxicity profiles.
KeywordsBreast cancer CDK-4/6 inhibitors Meta-analysis
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants and/or animals
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
Not applicable (no informed consent required).
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