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New perspectives in the treatment of advanced or metastatic gastric cancer

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Author(s): Gerardo Rosati, Domenica Ferrara, Luigi Manzione

Journal: World Journal of Gastroenterology
ISSN 1007-9327

Volume: 15;
Issue: 22;
Start page: 2689;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Advanced gastric cancer | Biological agents | Chemotherapy

ABSTRACT
Metastatic gastric cancer remains an incurable disease, with a relative 5-year survival rate of 7%-27%. Chemotherapy, which improves overall survival (OS) and quality of life, is the main treatment option. Meta-analysis has demonstrated that the best survival results obtained in earlier randomized studies were achieved with three-drug regimens containing a fluoropyrimidine, an anthracycline, and cisplatin (ECF). Although there has been little progress in improving median OS times beyond the 9-mo plateau achievable with the standard regimens, the availability of newer agents has provided some measure of optimism. A number of new combinations incorporating docetaxel, oxaliplatin, capecitabine, and S-1 have been explored in randomized trials. Some combinations, such as epirubicin-oxaliplatin-capecitabine, have been shown to be as effective as (or perhaps more effective than) ECF, and promising early data have been derived for S-1 in combination with cisplatin. One factor that might contribute to extending median OS is the advancement whenever possible to second-line cytotoxic treatments. However, the biggest hope for significant survival advances in the near future would be the combination of new targeted biological agents with existing chemotherapy first-line regimens.
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