Indexed on: 07 Nov '13Published on: 07 Nov '13Published in: Oncology
The role of second-line chemotherapy in advanced gastric cancer is not yet fully established.We analysed 111 patients with advanced gastric cancer treated at the University Hospital Heidelberg (51) and the private oncology practice Bottrop/Dorsten (60) between 2001 and 2011, comparing the outcome of patients with first-line chemotherapy and those who received second-line chemotherapy.Thirty-six patients were treated with one chemotherapy regimen, 75 patients received at least two different chemotherapies. Patients who received one chemotherapy regimen were older (median age 69 years) and had a shorter overall survival (6 months) than patients receiving sequential chemotherapies [median age 61 years, p = 0.009, overall survival 14 months (2-42), p = 0.001]. Under second-line chemotherapy, partial response was observed in 25 patients (33%) and stable disease for ≥3 months in 26 patients (35%). Patients treated before 2005 had a slightly better overall survival than patients treated in or after 2005. Survival was not influenced by the treatment centre (primary or tertiary), but was influenced by former surgery.The prognosis of advanced gastric cancer is still poor. Selected patients may benefit from individualized salvage chemotherapy after failure of first-line chemotherapy.