Systematic review with network meta-analysis: comparative assessment of tofacitinib and biological therapies for moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis
SourceAlimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
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Background Biological therapies have improved the care of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). Tofacitinib, an oral small-molecule Janus kinase inhibitor, is potentially a new treatment option. Aim To comparatively assess efficacy and harm of tofacitinib and biologics (infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab and vedolizumab) in adult patients not previously exposed to TNF antagonists. Methods We performed a comprehensive search of PubMed, Embase, Scopus, clinical trial registries, regulatory authorities' websites and major conference proceedings, through August 2017, to identify randomised, placebo-controlled or head-to-head trials assessing tofacitinib or biologics as induction and/or maintenance therapy in moderate-to-severe UC. Two reviewers independently extracted study data and outcomes, and investigated each trial's risk-of-bias. We used conventional meta-analysis to synthesise direct evidence, and network meta-analysis for adjusted indirect treatment comparisons. Results Fifteen randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (n = 3130) contributed data for induction: All treatments are superior to placebo. Indirect treatment comparisons showed that infliximab is better than adalimumab (OR: 2.01, 95% CI: 1.36-2.98) and golimumab (1.67, 1.08-2.59) in clinical response, better than adalimumab (2.10, 1.21-3.64) in clinical remission, and better than adalimumab (1.87, 1.26-2.79) and golimumab (1.75, 1.13-2.73) in mucosal healing. No indirect comparisons between tofacitinib and biologics reached statistical significance. Nine studies (n = 1776) contributed maintenance data showing that all treatments have higher clinical efficacy than placebo. Safety analyses indicated no increased rates of adverse events for the treatments under evaluation (except for infliximab), while vedolizumab may have an advantage regarding the occurrence of serious adverse events. Conclusions Tofacitinib and biologics are efficacious and safe for UC. Further high-quality research is warranted to establish the best therapeutic option.