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Evaluation of tumour vaccine immunotherapy for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a systematic meta-analysis
  1. Min Wang,
  2. Jun-Xia Cao,
  3. Yi-Shan Liu,
  4. Bei-Lei Xu,
  5. Duo Li,
  6. Xiao-Yan Zhang,
  7. Jun-Li Li,
  8. Jin-Long Liu,
  9. Hai-Bo Wang,
  10. Zheng-Xu Wang
  1. Biotherapy Center, General Hospital of Beijing Military Command, Beijing, People's Republic of China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zheng-Xu Wang; zhxwang18{at}


Objectives Our meta-analysis performed a systematic evaluation on the therapeutic efficacy and safety of tumour vaccines for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Design Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCT).

Data sources PubMed, the Cochrane Center Register of Controlled Trials, Science Direct and EMBASE were searched from January 1980 until January 2015.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies RCT were included; the control arm had to receive either placebo or chemotherapy or no treatment.

Main outcome measures The quality of the data from individual papers was assessed for overall survival (OS), clinical response rate and side effects.

Results Overall, 11 RCT of advanced NSCLC with a total of 3986 patients were conducted for meta-analysis. The results showed that the vaccine arm significantly extended primary endpoint median overall survival compared with control group (p<0.00001) (HR 0.760; 95% CI 0.644 to 0.896; p=0.001). Three subgroup patients with tumour vaccine at 1-year, 2-year and 3-year survival rates also gained significant benefits compared with their corresponding control group (p=0.0004, 0.03 and 0.19, respectively). Besides, a significant improvement in median time to progression (TTP), median progression-free survival (PFS) and a trend of improvement in objective response rate were observed after tumour vaccine treatment (p=0.001, 0.005 and 0.05, respectively; median PFS HR 0.842; 95% CI 0.744 to 0.954; p=0.007). A few severe adverse effects occurred in the tumour vaccine group, but fewer side effects were observed in the vaccine group compared with the control group (p<0.00001).

Conclusions Taken together, NSCLC tumour vaccines markedly prolong median OS (p<0.00001), median TTP (p=0.001) and median PFS (p=0.005), improve clinical response rate (p=0.05) and lessen adverse side effects (p<0.00001). Our meta-analysis suggests tumour vaccines improve the efficacy of the treatment, and also provide superiority in treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC among a variety of immunotherapy strategies.

  • Tumor vaccine
  • Immunotherapy
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

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