Background: Complete surgical resection of gastric cancer is potentially curative, but long-term survival is poor. Methods: Patients with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of the stomach of stages IB, II, IIIA and B, or IV (T4N2M0) and treated with potentially curative surgery were randomly assigned to follow-up alone or to intravenous treatment with four cycles (repeated every 21 days) of PELF (cisplatin [40 mg/m2, on days 1 and 5], epirubicin [30 mg/m2, days 1 and 5], L-leucovorin [100 mg/m2, days 1-4], and 5-fluorouracil [300 mg/m2, days 1-4] in a hospital setting. Frequencies and severity of adverse events were determined. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were compared between the treatment arms using Kaplan-Meier analysis and a Cox proportional hazards regression model. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: From January 1995 through September 2000, 258 patients were randomly assigned to chemotherapy (n = 130) or surgery alone (n = 128). Patient characteristics were well balanced between the two arms. Among those who received chemotherapy, grade 3 or 4 toxic effects including vomiting, mucositis, and diarrhea were experienced by 21.1%, 8.4%, and 11.8% of patients, respectively. Leucopenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia of grade 3 or 4 were experienced by 20.3%, 3.3%, and 4.2% of patients, respectively. After a median follow-up of 72.8 months, 128 patients (49.6%) experienced recurrence and 139 (53.9%) deaths were observed, one toxicity-related. Relative to treatment with surgery alone, adjuvant chemotherapy did not increase disease-free survival (hazard ratio [HR] of recurrence = 0.92; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.66 to 1.27) or overall survival (HR of death = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.64 to 1.26). Conclusions: Our results failed to provide proof of an effect of adjuvant chemotherapy with PELF on overall survival or disease-free survival. The estimated effect of chemotherapy (10% reduction in the hazard of death or relapse) is modest and consistent with the results of meta-analyses of adjuvant chemotherapy without platinum agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research