JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Urate oxidase for the prevention and treatment of tumour lysis syndrome in children with cancer

Daniel K L Cheuk, Alan K S Chiang, Godfrey C F Chan, Shau Yin Ha
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014 August 14, (8): CD006945
25121561

BACKGROUND: Tumour lysis syndrome (TLS) is a serious complication of malignancies and can result in renal failure or death. Preliminary reports suggest that urate oxidase is effective in reducing serum uric acid, the build-up of which causes TLS. It is uncertain whether high-quality evidence exists to support its routine use in children with malignancies.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects and safety of urate oxidase for the prevention and treatment of TLS in children with malignancies.

SEARCH METHODS: This is an update of the original review. We performed a comprehensive search of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (in The Cochrane Library issue 1, 2013), MEDLINE (1966 to February 2013), Embase (1980 to February 2013), and CINAHL (1982 to February 2013). In addition, we searched the reference lists of all identified relevant papers. We also explored other internet sources (updated search on 26 February 2013): the NHS' National Research Register, the US National Institutes of Health Ongoing Trials Register, the metaRegister of Controlled Trials, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database. We also screened conference proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the European Society for Medical Oncology, and the International Society of Paediatric Oncology meetings from 1993 to 2012. Finally, we contacted experts in the field and the manufacturer of rasburicase, Sanofi-aventis.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCT) and controlled clinical trials (CCT) of urate oxidase for the prevention or treatment of TLS in children under 18 years with any malignancy.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently extracted trial data and assessed individual trial quality. We used risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous data and mean difference (MD) for continuous data.

MAIN RESULTS: We included seven trials, involving 471 participants in the treatment groups and 603 participants in the control groups. One RCT and five CCTs compared urate oxidase and allopurinol. Three trials tested Uricozyme, and three trials tested rasburicase for the prevention of TLS.The RCT showed no significant difference in mortality (both all-cause mortality and mortality due to TLS), renal failure, and adverse effects between the treatment and the control groups. The frequency of normalisation of uric acid at four hours (Fisher's exact test P < 0.001) and area under curve of uric acid at four days (MD -201.00 mg/dLhr, 95% confidence interval (CI) -258.05 mg/dLhr to -143.95 mg/dLhr; P < 0.00001) were significantly better in the treatment group. The trial did not evaluate the primary outcome (incidence of clinical TLS).Pooled results of three CCTs showed significantly lower mortality due to TLS in the treatment group (RR 0.05, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.89; P = 0.04); all-cause mortality was not significantly different between the groups. Pooled results from five CCTs showed significantly lower incidence of renal failure in the treatment group (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.89; P = 0.03). Results of CCTs also showed significantly lower uric acid in the treatment group at two days (three CCTs), three days (two CCTs), four days (two CCTs), and seven days (one CCT) after therapy, but not one day (three CCTs), five days (one CCT), and 12 days (one CCT) after therapy. Pooled results from three CCTs showed higher frequency of adverse effects in participants who received urate oxidase (RR 9.10, 95% CI 1.29 to 64.00; P = 0.03). One CCT evaluated the primary outcome; no significant difference was identified.Another included RCT, with 30 participants, compared different doses of rasburicase (0.2 mg/kg versus 0.15 mg/kg), which demonstrated no significant difference in uric acid normalisation and uric acid level at four hours). Common adverse events of urate oxidase included hypersensitivity, haemolysis, and anaemia, but no significant difference between treatment groups was identified. No significant difference in mortality (all-cause mortality and mortality due to TLS) and renal failure was identified. The primary outcome was not evaluated.All included trials were highly susceptible to biases.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Although urate oxidase might be effective in reducing serum uric acid, it is unclear whether it reduces clinical tumour lysis syndrome, renal failure, or mortality. Adverse effects might be more common for urate oxidase compared with allopurinol. Clinicians should weigh the potential benefits of reducing uric acid and uncertain benefits of preventing mortality or renal failure from TLS against the potential risk of adverse effects.

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