A Critical Overview of Systematic Reviews of Chemotherapy for Advanced and Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer using both AMSTAR2 and ROBIS as Quality Assessment Tools

Author(s): Amit Dang*, Surendar Chidirala, Prashanth Veeranki, B.N. Vallish

Journal Name: Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials

Volume 16 , Issue 2 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: We performed a critical overview of published systematic reviews (SRs) of chemotherapy for advanced and locally advanced pancreatic cancer, and evaluated their quality using AMSTAR2 and ROBIS tools.

Materials and Methods: PubMed and Cochrane Central Library were searched for SRs on 13th June 2020. SRs with meta-analysis which included only randomized controlled trials and that had assessed chemotherapy as one of the treatment arms were included. The outcome measures, which were looked into, were progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and adverse events (AEs) of grade 3 or above. Two reviewers independently assessed all the SRs with both ROBIS and AMSTAR2.

Results: Out of the 1,879 identified records, 26 SRs were included for the overview. Most SRs had concluded that gemcitabine-based combination regimes, prolonged OS and PFS, but increased the incidence of grade 3-4 toxicities when compared to gemcitabine monotherapy, but survival benefits were not consistent when gemcitabine was combined with molecular targeted agents. As per ROBIS, 24/26 SRs had 'high' risk of bias, with only 1/26 SR having 'low' risk of bias. As per AMSTAR2, 25/26 SRs had 'critically low', and 1/26 SR had 'low' confidence in the results. The study which scored 'low risk of bias' in ROBIS scored ‘low confidence in results’ in AMSTAR2. The inter- rater reliability for scoring the overall confidence in the SRs with AMSTAR2 and the overall domain in ROBIS was substantial; ROBIS: kappa=0.785, SEM=0.207, p<0.001; AMSTAR2: kappa= 0.649, SEM=0.323, p<0.001.

Conclusion: Gemcitabine-based combination regimens can prolong OS and PFS but also worsen AEs when compared to gemcitabine monotherapy. The included SRs have an overall low methodological quality and high risk of bias as per AMSTAR2 and ROBIS respectively.

Keywords: AMSTAR2, ROBIS, pancreatic cancer, systematic review, methodological quality, risk of bias.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 02 September, 2020
Page: [180 - 192]
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.2174/1574887115666200902111510
Price: $65

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