PurposeThe current study was carried out to compare the effectiveness and safety of different ALK inhibitors in treating ALK+ NSCLC.MethodsProgression‐free survival (PFS), disease control rate (DCR), overall response rate (ORR), and intracranial ORR and DCR have been aggregated to appraise the effectiveness of each ALKi. The discontinuation rate due to adverse events (AEs) was pooled to evaluate their safety. Bayesian network meta‐analyses were used to compare the ORR, DCR, PFS, and discontinuation rate of patients treated with alectinib, ceritinib, crizotinib, and chemotherapy.ResultsCompared with chemotherapy, ALK inhibitors significantly prolonged PFS [hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI): alectinib, 0.50 (0.43‐0.58); ceritinib, 0.75 (0.69‐0.83); crizotinib, 0.71 (0.66‐0.76)]. The ORRs were significantly higher for ALK inhibitors than for chemotherapy [odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% CI: alectinib, 11.69 (4.29‐36.56); ceritinib, 7.85 (3.44‐19.27); crizotinib, 6.04 (3.33‐11.71)]. The discontinuation rates were lower for ALK inhibitors than for chemotherapy [OR and corresponding 95% CI: alectinib, 0.42 (0.12‐1.36); ceritinib, 0.52 (0.20‐1.35); crizotinib, 0.70 (0.30‐1.62)].Conclusions
ALK+ NSCLC patients treated with ALKi tend to have longer PFS than those treated with chemotherapy. ALKi‐naïve patients tended to response better than their ALKi‐pretreated counterparts. Alectinib appeared to be preferable for treating brain metastases due to its high intracranial efficacy. Patients treated with alectinib or ceritinib tended to have higher ORR and DCR than patients with similar baselines treated with crizotinib or chemotherapy. No significant differences in discontinuation rate were found for alectinib, ceritinib, crizotinib, and chemotherapy.