What is the efficacy of combined treatments for gastric cancer?

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
  • Author: Elwyn C Cabebe, MD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Numerous randomized clinical trials comparing combination chemotherapy in the postoperative setting to surgery alone did not demonstrate a consistent survival benefit.

Meta-analyses have shown a hint of statistical benefit. In one meta-analysis of 13 randomized trials, adjuvant systemic chemotherapy was associated with a significant survival benefit (odds ratio for death, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.66-0.97). In subgroup analysis, there was a trend toward a larger magnitude of effect for trials in which at least two thirds of the patients had node-positive disease. [48]

In the open-label randomized Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin Adjuvant Study in Stomach Cancer (CLASSIC), treatment with capecitabine and oxaliplatin (XELOX) after surgery for advanced gastric cancer cut the risk of death by 34% over 5 years, as compared with surgery alone. In CLASSIC, patients with stage II to IIIB gastric cancer who had undergone curative D2 gastrectomy were assigned to adjuvant XELOX for eight cycles or surgery alone. The XELOX regimen consisted of oral capecitabine (1000 mg/m² twice daily on days 1-14 of each cycle) plus intravenous oxaliplatin (130 mg/m² on day 1 of each cycle) for 6 months. [49]  However, D2 surgeries are not common in the United States due to morbidity concerns and a lack of level 1 evidence of a survival advantage.

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