Comparing Role of Two Chemotherapy Regimens, CMF and Anthracycline-Based, on Breast Cancer Survival in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and Asia by Multivariate Mixed Effects Models: a Meta-Analysis

  • Ghanbari, Saeed (Department of Biostatistics, The Medical School Shiraz, University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Ayatollahi, Seyyed Mohammad Taghi (Department of Biostatistics, The Medical School Shiraz, University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Zare, Najaf (Department of Biostatistics, The Medical School Shiraz, University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2015.09.02


Purpose: To assess the role of two adjuvant chemotherapy regimens, anthracycline-based and CMF on disease free survival and overall survival breast cancer patients by meta-analysis approach in Eastern Mediterranean and Asian countries to determine which is more effective and evaluate the appropriateness and efficiency of two different proposed statistical models. Materials and Methods: Survival curves were digitized and the survival proportions and times were extracted and modeled to appropriate covariates by two multivariate mixed effects models. Studies which reported disease free survival and overall survival curves for anthracycline-based or CMF as adjuvant chemotherapy that were published in English in the Eastern Mediterranean region and Asia were included in this systematic review. The two transformations of survival probabilities (Ln (-Ln(S)) and Ln(S/ (1-S))) as dependent variables were modeled by a multivariate mixed model to same covariates in order to have precise estimations with high power and appropriate interpretation of covariate effects. The analysis was carried out with SAS Proc MIXED and STATA software. Results: A total of 32 studies from the published literature were analysed, covering 4,092 patients who received anthracycline-based and 2,501 treated with CMF for the disease free survival and in order to analyze the overall survival, 13 studies reported the overall survival curves in which 2,050 cases were treated with anthracycline-based and 1,282 with CMF regimens. Conclusions: The findings illustrated that the model with dependent variable Ln (-Ln(S)) had more precise estimations of the covariate effects and showed significant difference between the effects of two adjuvant chemotherapy regimens. Anthracycline-based treatment gave better disease free survival and overall survival. As an IPD meta-analysis in the Italy the results of Angelo et al in 2011 also confirmed that anthracycline-based regimens were more effective for survival of breast cancer patients. The findings of Zare et al 2012 on disease free survival curves in Asia also provided similar evidence.


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