Some studies have suggested sex-associated differences in immune response, but the exact associations are not well-studied. This study aims to assess the efficacy of immunotherapy and overall survival in cancer patients according to patient sex.
This systematic review and meta-analysis of 23 randomized clinical trials that compared immunotherapy with the standard of care in the treatment of advanced solid-organ malignant neoplasms included a total of 9,322 men and 4,399 women. The overall survival rates of the patients were recorded. The primary outcome of the study was overall survival by patient sex with a test of heterogeneity between the two sexes.
The findings suggested that immunotherapy had survival benefits for both men (HR 0.75) and women (HR 0.77). A random-effects meta-analysis of study-level differences indicated no statistically substantial difference between males and females. Subgroup analysis as per the line of therapy, disease site, study methodology, and a class of immunotherapy further summarized these findings.
The research concluded that in patients with cancer, differences in sex resulted in no statistically significant differences in the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors and overall survival. These findings were uniform across advanced cancers of all types, forms, and stages.