A metronomic schedule as salvage chemotherapy for upper gastrointestinal tract cancer

Michela Roberto, Adriana Romiti, Concetta E. Onesti, Chiara D'Antonio, Annalisa Milano, Rosa Falcone, Viola Barucca, Lucia Palombi, Riccardo Righini, Paolo Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, metronomic chemotherapy, consisting of continuous administration of low doses of cytotoxic agents, has being used as rescue therapy for different tumours. The aim of this study was to retrospectively assess the efficacy and safety of low-dose metronomic, oral capecitabine in pretreated or frail patients with recurrent upper gastrointestinal tract cancer. Patients with pretreated upper gastrointestinal tract cancer or who were not candidates for standard chemotherapy because of toxicity concerns received capecitabine at 1500 mg per day continuously until disease progression or occurrence of toxicity. Forty-seven patients (25 oesophagogastric cancer, 22 pancreatobiliary cancer; 25 men, 22 women; median age 69 years, range 42-90) were included in the study. Forty-five percent of the patients had received at least two previous lines of treatment and the median number of previous treatments was 1 (range 0-5). Twelve (31.6%) patients achieved clinical benefit (one partial response, 11 stable disease), whereas nine (23.7%) patients were progression free for at least 6 months. In an exploratory analysis, there was a significant relationship between performance status and clinical benefit (hazard ratio=8.25; P=0.01). The median overall survival was 5 months. A good performance status was associated with a longer survival (hazard ratio=0.26; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalAnti-Cancer Drugs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Advanced gastrointestinal cancer
  • Metronomic chemotherapy
  • Pretreated patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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