Background: After progression to a standard first-line platinum and gemcitabine combination (GP), there is no established second-line therapy for patients with advanced biliary tract cancers (aBTC). Indeed, literature data suggest limited activity of most second-line agents evaluated so far. Methods: We collected a large retrospective series of aBTC patients treated with second-line chemotherapy after progression to a first-line GP regimen at different Italian institutions. We then pooled the data with those reported in previous studies, which were identified with a Medline search and the on-line abstract datasets of major international oncology meetings. Results: A total of 174 patients were included in the multicenter survey: response rate (RR) with second-line chemotherapy was low (3.4%), with median PFS and OS of 3.0months and 6.6months, respectively. At multivariate analysis, preserved performance status, low CA19.9 levels and absence of distant metastases were favorable prognostic factors. Data from other five presented or published series were identified, for a total of 499 patients included in the pooled analysis. The results confirmed marginal activity of second-line chemotherapy (RR: 10.2%), with limited efficacy in unselected patient populations (median PFS: 3.1months; median OS: 6.3months). Conclusions: The current analysis highlights the limited value of second-line chemotherapy after a first-line GP combination in aBTC. While waiting for effective biologic agents in this setting, ongoing randomized trials will identify the optimal second-line chemotherapy regimen and validate prognostic factors for individual patient management.
|Journal||Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 23 2015|
- Biliary tract cancer
- Second-line chemotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research