Fluoropyrimidine (F) and platinum (P) combination chemotherapy has been widely used for the first line treatment of advanced gastric cancer (AGC). Docetaxel (D) has shown promising activity in this disease. The present study retrospectively investigated the efficacy of D monotherapy as salvage chemotherapy for AGC that is failing F and P combination chemotherapy.
Materials and Methods
A total of 34 patients, fitting the eligibility criteria, were included in this study. D was administered at a dose of 75 mg/m2 IV every 3 weeks, with dexamethasone prophylaxis. Twenty-nine patients had measurable lesions. The median treatment-free interval was 38.5 days, and 91.2% of patients had progressed within 4 months of withdrawal of the first line chemotherapy.
A total of 133 cycles of D were administered, with a median of 3.5 (1~8) cycles. From an intention-to-treat analysis, 6 patients achieved partial responses (PR), with a response rate of 20.7% (95% CI, 6.0~35.4). The duration of objective PRs in these six were 2.3+, 2.5+, 2.9, 3.0+, 6.2 and 6.8 months, respectively. Six patients showed a stable disease, but 15 showed progression. The median time to progression was 4.2 months (95% CI, 2.8~5.5), with a median overall survival since the start of D monotherapy of 8.4 months (95% CI, 5.5~11.3). Grade 3/4 neutropenia and febrile neutropenia occurred in 12.9% of patients and 3.1% of cycles. The incidence of grade 3 or worse non-hematological toxicities were as follows; peripheral sensory neuropathy 9.7%, asthenia 3.2% and allergic reaction 2.7%.
Docetaxel, 75 mg/m2, is active in AGC as second-line chemotherapy after failure of prior exposure to the F and P combination chemotherapy, with a favorable toxicity profile.