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Novel Chemotherapy Combinations in Advanced Gastric Cancer: an Updated Meta-Analysis

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  • Medicine


Combination chemotherapy is widely accepted for patients with advanced gastric cancer, but uncertainty remains regarding the choice of the regimen. Objectives: To assess the effect of: Comparison 1) irinotecan versus non-irinotecancontaining regimens, comparison 2) docetaxel versus non-docetaxel-containing regimens, comparison 3) regimens including oral 5-FU prodrugs versus intravenous fluoropyrimidines, comparison 4) oxaliplatin versus cisplatin-containing regimens on overall survival. Search Strategy: We searched: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, proceedings from ECCO, ESMO, ASCO until December 2009. Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials on the above mentioned chemotherapy regimens in advanced or metastatic denocarcinoma of the stomach or GE-junction. Results: The meta-analysis of overall survival for comparison 1) included 4 trials, 640 patients, and results in a HR of 0.86 (95% CI 0.73-1.02) in favour of the irinotecancontaining regimens. For comparison 2) 4 trials with a total of 924 patients have been included in the analysis of overall survival. The resulting HR is 0.93 (95% CI 0.79-1.09) in favour of the docetaxel-containing regimens, with moderate heterogeneity (I2 =7%). For comparison 3 and 4, one major relevant study (Cunningham 2008) could not be included in this meta-analysis after discussion because it included patients with squamous cell cancer of the esophagus as well. Thus, for comparison 3) one relevant study (Kang 2009; 316 patients) comparing capecitabine versus 5-FU in combination with cisplatin is eligible. The resulting HR is 0.85 (95%CI 0.65-1.11) in favour of the oral regimen. For comparison 4) two eligible trials were identified (Al Batran 2008, Popov 2008; 292 patients) with a resulting HR of 0.82 (95% CI 0.47-1.45) in favour of the oxaliplatin-based regimens. For three further trials data is incomplete at present. Conclusions: Chemotherapy combinations including irinotecan, oxaliplatin, docetaxel or oral 5-FU prodrugs are alternative treatment options to cisplatin/5-FU or cisplatin/ 5-FU/anthracycline-combinations, but do not provide significant advantages in overall survival. Supported by: KKS Halle, grant number [BMBF/FKZ 01GH01GH0105]. Disclosure: All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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