Purpose of review
Because the high risk of death and poor prognosis of patients with refractory thyroid cancer (TC), studies related to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in treating different types of refractory TC have gradually attracted attention. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials and single-arm trials to evaluate tyrosine kinase inhibitors’ efficacy and safety profile treatment in TC patients.
The studies of 29 in 287 met the criteria, 9 were randomized controlled trials and 20 were single-arm trials, involving 11 TKIs (Apatinib, Anlotinib, Cabozantinib, Imatinib, Lenvatinib, Motesanib, Pazopanib, Sorafenib, Sunitinib, Vandetanib, Vemurafenib). Treatment with TKIs significantly improved progression-free survival [hazard ratio [HR] 0.34 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.24, 0.48), P < 0.00001] and overall survival [OS] [HR 0.76, (95% CI: 0.64, 0.91), P = 0.003] in randomized controlled trials, but adverse events (AEs) were higher than those in the control group (P < 0.00001). The result of the objective response rate (ORR) in single-arm trials was statistically significant [odds ratio [OR] 0.49 (95% CI: 0.32, 0.75), P = 0.001].
TKIs significantly prolonged progression-free survival and OS or improved ORR in patients with different types of TC (P < 0.01). Our recommendation is to select appropriate TKIs to treat different types of TC patients, and to prevent and manage drug-related AEs after using TKIs.