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Adjuvant chemo-radiation for gastric adenocarcinoma: an institutional experience

Author(s): Aftimos Philippe | Nasr Elie | Nasr Dolly | Noun Roger | Nasr Fady | Ghosn Marwan | El Helou Joelle | Chahine Georges

Journal: Radiation Oncology
ISSN 1748-717X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 50;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Studies have shown that surgery alone is less than satisfactory in the management of early gastric cancer, with cure rates approaching 40%. The role of adjuvant therapy was indefinite until three large, randomized controlled trials showed the survival benefit of adjuvant therapy over surgery alone. Chemoradiation therapy has been criticized for its high toxicity. Methods 24 patients diagnosed between September 2001 and July 2007 were treated with adjuvant chemoradiation. 18 patients had the classical MacDonald regimen of 4500 cGy of XRT and chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil (5FU) and leucovorin, while chemotherapy consisted of 5FU/Cisplatin for 6 patients. Results This series consisted of non-metastatic patients, 17 females and 7 males with a median age of 62.5 years. 23 patients (96%) had a performance status of 0 or 1. The full course of radiation therapy (4500 cGy) was completed by 22 patients (91.7%). Only 7 patients (36.8%) completed the total planned courses of chemotherapy. 2 local relapses (10%), 2 regional relapses (10%) and 2 distant relapses (10%) were recorded. Time to progression has not been reached. 9 patients (37.5%) died during follow-up with a median overall survival of 75 months. Patients lost a mean of 4 Kgs during radiation therapy. We recorded 6 episodes of febrile neutropenia and the most frequent toxicity was gastro-intestinal in 17 patients (70.8%) with 9 (36%) patients suffering grade 3 or 4 toxicity and 5 patients (20%) suffering from grade 3 or 4 neutropenia. 4 (17%) patients required total parenteral nutrition for a mean duration of 20 days. 4 patients suffered septic shock (17%) and 1 patient developed a deep venous thrombosis and a pulmonary embolus. Conclusions Adjuvant chemo-radiation for gastric cancer is a standard at our institution and has resulted in few relapses and an interesting median survival. Toxicity rates were serious and this remains a harsh regimen with only 36.8% of patients completing the full planned courses of chemotherapy. This is due to hematological toxicity, mainly febrile neutropenia. This should prompt us to review the subsequent chemotherapy protocol and make it more tolerable.
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