The combination of cisplatin, epirubicin, leucovorin and 5-fluorouracil (PELF) administration, as adjuvant chemotherapy after curative resection for gastirc cancer, was compared with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) administration alone. This paper reports the results of a prospective randomized comparison of the two regimens, PELF and 5-FU.
From August 1996 to July 1999, 54 patients were selected subsequent to being diagnosed with stage III cancer after a curative resection for gastric cancer. The patients were stratified according to stage IIIA/IIIB and subtotal/total gastrectomy, and then they were randomized into each treatment group, i.e. the PELF or 5-FU alone groups.
54 assessable patients were enrolled in this study: 28 received PELF and 26 received 5-FU alone. 12 patients relapsed in each group and the median follow-up duration was 42 months (range: 10~77 months). The overall survival rate and disease-free survival rate (DFS) were not significantly different between two groups, (5-year survival of PELF vs. 5-FU: 57% vs. 64%, 5-year DFS: 54% vs. 51%). The PELF combination was more toxic in terms of anemia, anorexia, nausea and diarrhea than the 5-FU.
This study showed that the PELF combination, as an adjuvant therapy for gastric cancer after a curative resection, was a less effective treatment, and it had more toxic effects than the 5-FU.