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Third-Line Chemotherapy with Irinotecan plus 5-Fluorouracil in Caucasian Metastatic Gastric Cancer Patients

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Third-Line Chemotherapy with Irinotecan plus 5-Fluorouracil in Caucasian Metastatic Gastric Cancer Patients

Oncology: International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment (Karger)

Pasquini G., Vasile E., Caparello C., Vivaldi C., Musettini G., Lencioni M., Petrini I., Fornaro L., Falcone A.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of the combination of 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid and irinotecan (FOLFIRI) as third-line chemotherapy (CT) in metastatic gastric cancer (mGC) patients pretreated with platinum derivatives, fluoropyrimidines, and taxanes.

Methods: We prospectively collected data of mGC patients treated with third-line FOLFIRI at our institution from 2009 to 2014. Eligible patients should be treated with a fluoropyrimidine-platinum first-line CT and a subsequent taxane-based second-line CT. FOLFIRI consisted of irinotecan 180 mg/m2 and leucovorin 200 mg/m2, followed by 5-fluorouracil 2,800 mg/m2 (administered as 48-hour i.v. continuous infusion from day 1 to 3), with cycles repeated every 2 weeks. Response rate (RR) was evaluated according to RECIST version 1.0, while progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: A total of 33 patients were included. The majority (97%) had good performance status (0-1 according to ECOG), while median PFS after first-line and second-line CT was 5.2 and 4.4 months, respectively. Two patients experienced an objective response (RR: 6%), while 14 patients achieved disease stabilization (disease control rate: 42%). Median PFS and OS from the start of third-line CT were 3.3 and 7.5 months, respectively. Hematological and nonhematological grade 3-4 toxicities were uncommon and included neutropenia (6.1%), diarrhea (9.1%), vomiting (3%), and asthenia (3%). Febrile neutropenia was not reported.

Conclusions: Third-line CT with FOLFIRI may be an option in heavily pretreated mGC patients with preserved performance status and organ function. This regimen has a favorable safety profile, and signs of activity have been observed after standard first- and second-line CT.

© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel



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