A network meta-analysis can provide estimates of relative efficacy for treatments not directly studied in head-to-head randomized controlled trials. We estimated the relative efficacy and safety of dolutegravir (DTG) versus third agents currently recommended by guidelines, including ritonavir-boosted atazanavir (ATV/r), ritonavir-boosted darunavir (DRV/r), efavirenz (EFV), cobicistat-boosted elvitegravir (EVG/c), ritonavir-boosted lopinavir (LPV/r), raltegravir (RAL), and rilpivirine (RPV), in treatment-naive HIV-1-infected patients.
A systematic review of published literature was conducted to identify phase 3/4 randomized controlled clinical trials (up to August 2013) including at least one third agent of interest in combination with a backbone nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) regimen. Bayesian fixed-effect network meta-analysis models adjusting for the type of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor backbone (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine [TDF/FTC] or abacavir/lamivudine [ABC/3TC]) were used to evaluate week 48 efficacy (HIV-RNA suppression to <50 copies/mL and change in CD4+ cells/µL) and safety (lipid changes, adverse events, and discontinuations due to adverse events) of DTG relative to all other treatments. Sensitivity analyses assessing the impact of NRTI treatment adjustment and random-effects models were performed.
Thirty-one studies including 17,000 patients were combined in the analysis. Adjusting for the effect of NRTI backbone, treatment with DTG resulted in significantly higher odds of virologic suppression (HIV RNA<50 copies/mL) and increase in CD4+ cells/µL versus ATV/r, DRV/r, EFV, LPV/r, and RPV. Dolutegravir had better or equivalent changes in total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides, and lower odds of adverse events and discontinuation due to adverse events compared to all treatments. Random-effects and unadjusted models resulted in similar conclusions.
Three clinical trials of DTG have demonstrated comparable or superior efficacy and safety to DRV, RAL, and EFV in HIV-1-infected treatment-naive patients. This network meta-analysis suggests DTG is also favorable or comparable to other commonly used third agents (ATV/r, LPV/r, RPV, and EVG/c).