Gynaecology cancers, including ovarian (OC), endometrial (EC), and cervical (CC), are prevalent with high mortality. Sarcopenia is found in 38.7% of cancer patients, adversely affecting prognosis. Computed tomography (CT) is performed routinely in oncology, yet CT assessments of sarcopenia are not commonly used to measure prognosis. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the prognostic potential of pre-treatment sarcopenia assessments on overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) in gynaecology cancer.
Four electronic databases were systematically searched from 2000 to May 2020 in English: Ovid Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, and CINAHL plus. Titles and abstracts were screened, eligible full-texts were reviewed, and data from included studies was extracted. Meta-analyses were conducted on homogenous survival data, heterogenous data were narratively reported.
The initial search yielded 767 results; 27 studies were included in the systematic review (n = 4286), all published between 2015 and 2020. Meta-analysis of unadjusted results revealed a negative effect of pre-treatment sarcopenia on OS in OC (HR: 1.40, 1.20–1.64, p < 0.0001) (n = 10), EC (HR: 1.42, 0.97–2.10, p = 0.07) (n = 4) and CC (HR: 1.10, 0.93–1.31, p = 0.28) (n = 5), and a negative effect on PFS in OC (HR: 1.28, 1.11–1.46, p = 0.0005) (n = 8), EC (HR: 1.51, 1.03–2.20, p = 0.03) (n = 2) and CC (HR: 1.14, 0.85–1.53, p = 0.37) (n = 2). Longitudinal analysis indicated negative effects of muscle loss on survival. Overall, there was a high risk of bias.
Pre-treatment sarcopenia negatively affected survival in gynaecology cancers. Incorporating such assessments into cancer management may be beneficial. Heterogeneity in sarcopenia assessments makes data interpretation challenging. Further research in prospective studies is required.
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ES would like to acknowledge her affiliation with the Division of Medicine, University College London, and Dr Marialena Trivella who provided invaluable support with the statistical analysis. No financial assistance was received.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Sutton, E.H., Plyta, M., Fragkos, K. et al. Pre-treatment sarcopenic assessments as a prognostic factor for gynaecology cancer outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-022-01085-7