Guyot P, Cheng W, Tremblay G, Copher R, Burnett H, Li X, Makin C. Number needed to treat in indirect treatment comparison. J Comp Eff Res. 2018 Mar 14.
AIM: For dichotomous outcomes, odds ratio (OR) is one of the usual summary measures of indirect treatment comparison. A corresponding number needed to treat (NNT) estimate may facilitate understanding of the treatment effect.
METHODS: We show how to estimate NNT based on OR results of a matching adjusted indirect comparison. We also have derived the explicit formula of its 95% CIs by applying the delta method, and as an alternative, a simulation-based method.
RESULTS: The method was applied in a case study example in radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer (RR-DTC) patients, comparing lenvatinib to sorafenib. For every two RR-DTC patients treated with lenvatinib instead of sorafenib, one fewer would have progressed and for every eight RR-DTC patients treated with lenvatinib instead of sorafenib, one fewer would have died.
CONCLUSION: Using NNT to summarize the results of a matching adjusted indirect comparison can help the clinicians to better understand the results in addition to OR.