Purpose: We analyzed the natural history of advanced gastric cancer with sequential salvage chemotherapy following first-line treatment. Methods: We studied 532 patients with unresectable gastric adenocarcinoma who were treated at Yonsei Cancer Center (2000-2008). The patients were managed with multiple sequential salvage chemotherapy as allowed by performance status and toxicity profiles. The tumor response was assessed every two cycles. Results: Four hundred sixty patients received palliative chemotherapy and 72 received supportive care only. The median overall survival was 12.0 months for all patients, 12.1 months for the chemotherapy group, and 2.5 months for the supportive care group (P <0.001). In the chemotherapy group, 87% received first-line chemotherapy, 47% second-line, 23% third-line, 9% fourth-line, and 3% fifthline. Response rates were 24.8, 12.6, 10.9, 2.6, and 0% and disease control rates were 76.3, 60.1, 54.2, 54.2, and 53.3% for first-to fifth-line treatment, respectively. The median progression-free survival was 5.5, 3.4, 2.5, 1.9, and 2.0 months and overall survival was 12.1, 7.9, 5.5, 5.0, and 6.8 months. Performance status and metastatic pattern were consistent prognostic factors throughout salvage treatment. Conclusions: Clinical trials may be feasible in second-or third-line salvage chemotherapy for gastric cancer. Future clinical trials in these settings should take into account the low response rate, short progression-free survival, and the prognostic factors for optimal trial design.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Pharmacology (medical)