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Febuxostat administration for the prevention of tumour lysis syndrome: A meta-analysis.

WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Tumour lysis syndrome is an oncological emergency, characterized by rapid cytolysis leading to an abrupt rise of serum uric acid levels. The aim of the present meta-analysis is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of febuxostat as a preventive measure in patients at risk of tumour lysis syndrome development, by comparing it with allopurinol administration.

METHODS: MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Google Scholar databases were searched from inception to 15 December 2018. All studies evaluating the effectiveness of febuxostat in preventing tumour lysis syndrome were held eligible.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Six studies were included with a total of 658 patients. Compared to allopurinol, febuxostat achieved a similar response rate (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: [0.55, 3.51]) and tumour lysis syndrome incidence (OR: 1.01, 95% CI: [0.56, 1.81]). Serum uric acid levels did not differ between the investigated groups at the second (MD: -0.21 mg/dL, 95% CI: [-1.30, 0.88]) and seventh (MD: -0.43 mg/dL, 95% CI: [-1.38, 0.51]) day of treatment. Elevation of liver function tests was the most common adverse effect, although its incidence was similar among patients treated with allopurinol and febuxostat.

WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSIONS: The present meta-analysis suggests that febuxostat may serve as an effective alternative to allopurinol in the prevention of tumour lysis syndrome. Future large-scale studies should define the optimal febuxostat dosage, explore the most appropriate population for its administration and better define its safety profile.

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