Results from a recent study indicate that the addition of the drug cisplatin (Platinol®) did not improve response rates, survival rates, or progression-free survival for patients with gatric cancer. These findings were published in The Annals of Oncology.
Gastric cancer forms in the tissues and lining of the stomach as the result of causes not fully understood. It is estimated that approximately 21,500 new cases will occur in 2008 in the United States and that gastric cancer will be responsible for 10,800 deaths. Current treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Research is ongoing to determine which therapy or combination of therapies produces the best outcome while still being tolerable for the patient.
In the current trial, researchers from Korea randomly assigned untreated patients diagnosed with gastric cancer to receive chemotherapy with either the drugs Camptosar® (irinotecan), leucovorin, and 5-Fu (ILF regimen) or irinotecan, leucovorin, 5-Fu, and cisplatin (PILF regimen). Treatment was repeated every two weeks and included 45 patients treated with ILF and 45 patients treated with PILF.
- Overall, both treatment regimens were relatively well tolerated, and there were no differences in serious side effects between the two groups.
- Response rates were similar at 42% among both groups.
- Progression-free survival rates were also comparable between the two groups (4.8 months and 6.2 months).
- Overall survival rates were also equivalent among the two treatment groups (10.7 months and 10.5 months).
Researchers concluded that although both treatment regimens were effective in the initial treatment of gastric cancer, the addition of cisplatin provided no clear advantage in overall survival, response rates, or progression-free survival.
Reference: Park, S., Nam, E., Park, J. et al. Randomized Phase II study of irinotecan, leucovorin, and 5-flourouracil (ILF) versus cisplatin plus ILF (PILF) combination chemotherapy for advanced gastric cancer. Annals of Oncology. 2008; 19(4): 729-733.
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