Target therapies plus somatostatin analogs in NETs: a network meta-analysis.
Although combination therapy is not recommended in patients with gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), this strategy is widely used in clinical practice. This network meta-analysis of randomized trials evaluates targeted therapies and somatostatin analogues in GEP advanced NETs, either alone or in combination, comparing the efficacy of different single or combined treatment strategies in terms of progression-free survival (PFS). Interventions were grouped as analogues, everolimus, everolimus plus SSAs, sunitinib and placebo. In a secondary analysis, we also assessed the efficacy of individual specific pharmacological treatments versus placebo or each other. From 83 studies identified, 8 randomized controlled trials were selected, with a total of 1849 patients with either functioning or non-functioning NETs. The analysis confirmed the superiority of all treatments over placebo (HR ranging from 0.34, 95% CI: 0.24-0.37 with the combination of everolimus plus SSAs to 0.42, 0.31-0.57 with the analogues; moderate quality of evidence). On ranking analysis, the combination of everolimus plus SSA (P score=0.86) and then everolimus alone (P score=0.65) ranked highest in increasing PFS. On comparative evaluation of different interventions, pasireotide (P score=0.96) and everolimus+octreotide (P score=0.82) ranked as the best pharmacological treatment options. Our findings support the use of combination therapy in the treatment of functioning and non-functioning GEP NETs. The role of pasireotide should be explored in selected subgroups of patients. Last, the combination of everolimus and octreotide appears promising and should be more widely considered in clinical practice.