In this study, we conducted an indirect comparison analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of immune checkpoint inhibitors with those of antiangiogenic therapy - two effective treatment methods for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Eligible randomised control trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors, antiangiogenic therapy, and doublet platinum-based therapy published up to July 2017 were comprehensively analysed. Through the indirect comparison analysis of 37 trials involving 16810 patients, treatments were compared for overall survival (OS) and grade 3-5 adverse events. For first-line treatment, the use of pembrolizumab alone (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.4-0.91) and a combination of bevacizumab and doublet platinum-based therapy (HR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.75-0.99) demonstrated substantial survival benefits compared with doublet platinum-based therapy. For subsequent treatment, nivolumab may provide higher efficacy and lower toxicity than antiangiogenic therapy. Overall, anti-PD1 monoclonal antibodies may be superior to antiangiogenic therapy in terms of OS and grade 3-5 adverse events. This meta-analysis suggests that pembrolizumab and nivolumab might be favourable choices for first-line and subsequent treatment, respectively, for patients with advanced NSCLC. Additional randomised control trials are required for a comprehensive evaluation of the outcomes among regimens.
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