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Angiogenesis Inhibitors for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
  1. Haihong Wang, BS,
  2. Tie Xu, BS,
  3. Lifen Zheng, BS and
  4. Guiling Li, MD
  1. Cancer Center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Guiling Li, MD, Cancer Center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China. E-mail: lgl6714{at}


Background Angiogenesis inhibitors showed activity in ovarian cancer, but preliminary data could not accurately reflect the survival benefit. We thus did a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to reassess the efficacy and safety of angiogenesis inhibitors combined with chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.

Methods We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, and for randomized controlled trials comparing angiogenesis inhibitors containing therapy with conventional chemotherapy alone or no further treatment. Our main outcomes were the progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and common adverse events.

Results Fifteen trials were included (N = 8721 participants). For newly diagnosed ovarian cancer, combination treatment with angiogenesis inhibitors and chemotherapy yielded a lower risk of disease progression (hazard ratio [HR], 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.71–0.97) and no improved OS (HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.86–1.05). In the high-risk progression subgroup, the addition of bevacizumab significantly improved PFS (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.65–0.81) and OS (HR, 0.84; 95%CI, 0.74–0.96). In recurrent patients, the combined HR was 0.58 (95% CI, 0.52–0.65) for PFS, and for OS, the combined HR was 0.86 (95% CI, 0.79–0.94). We found no significant improvement for either PFS (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.63–1.01) or OS (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.88–1.28) in the pure maintenance therapy.

In the overall population, angiogenesis inhibitors increased the incidence of gastrointestinal perforation (risk ratio [RR], 2.57; 95% CI, 1.66–3.97), hypertension (RR, 7.60; 95% CI, 2.79–20.70), arterial thromboembolism (RR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.34–3.84), proteinuria (RR, 4.31; 95% CI, 2.15–8.64), and complication of wound healing (RR, 1.72, 95% CI, 1.12–2.63).

Conclusions Combination treatment with angiogenesis inhibitors and chemotherapy significantly improved PFS and OS in both patients with high-risk of progression and recurrent ovarian cancer, with an increased incidence of common adverse events. Conversely, we detected no statistically significant survival benefit in the pure maintenance setting. The main limitation of the review is clinical heterogeneity across the studies.

  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors
  • Chemotherapy
  • Systematic review
  • Meta-analysis

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.