METHODS: This collaborative project will synthesize data and perform meta-analyses of observational studies conducted in Asia. Studies will be identified through a systematic literature search including abstracts, proceedings of meetings, electronic databases such as MEDLINE and EMBASE. Personal enquiry among collaborators and experts in the region will identify additional studies, or other data sources such as registries. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that describe the prevalence of CKD and its complications will be included, as will longitudinal studies that describe important clinical outcomes for people with CKD. Individual participant data will be sought, where possible, from each of the studies included in the collaboration for baseline parameters and subsequent outcomes, in order to maximize flexibility and consistency of data analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: This study is an initiative offering a unique opportunity to obtain information about the prevalence and manifestations of CKD in Asia, as well as its risk factors. The ARC will also provide insights into important outcomes including progression of CKD, CKD complications, cardiovascular disease and death. These findings will improve our understanding of kidney disease in Asia, and thus help inform service provision, preventive care and further research across the region.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: MEDLINE was systematically searched using prespecified criteria. Publications (previous 10 years) that reported tumour characteristics, treatment patterns, survival outcomes, and/or safety outcomes of patients with soft-tissue sarcoma were selected. Exclusion criteria were studies of patients <18 years of age; ≤ 10 patients; countries other than Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand; >20% benign tumours; sarcomas located in bones or joints; gastrointestinal stromal tumour; Kaposi's sarcoma; or not reporting relevant outcomes.
RESULTS: Of the 1,822 publications retrieved, 35 (32 studies) were included. Nearly all patients (98%, 1,992/2,024; 31 studies) were treated with surgery, and more studies used adjuvant radiotherapy than chemotherapy (24 vs 17 studies). Survival outcomes and recurrence rates varied among the studies because of the different histotypes, sites, and disease stages assessed. Only 5 studies reported safety findings.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the lack of specific data available about soft-tissue sarcomas in the Asia-Pacific region. Better efforts to understand how the sarcoma is managed and treated will help improve patient outcomes in the region.