Objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of docetaxel monotherapy as salvage chemotherapy for advanced gastric cancer (AGC) in clinical practice and to determine the prognostic factors in these patients.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients with AGC for whom fluoropyrimidine and platinum had previously failed and who had received docetaxel salvage monotherapy between December 2000 and March 2006. Docetaxel was administered at a dose of 75 mg/m(2) intravenously every 3 weeks with dexamethasone prophylaxis.
Results: A total of 154 patients received 583 cycles of docetaxel with a median of three cycles per patient (range 1-10). The median age was 54 years (range 27-75 years). The objective response rate of 86 patients with measurable lesions was 14%, with 1 complete response and 11 partial responses, with a median response duration of 5.6 months. An additional 25 patients achieved stable disease. The median time to progression (TTP) for all patients was 2.6 months [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.2-2.9] and the median overall survival (OS) from the start of docetaxel chemotherapy was 7.2 months (95% CI, 5.9-8.5). The chemotherapy was generally well tolerated. Multivariate analysis showed that the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (0 or 1 versus 2) was an independent prognostic factor for both TTP and OS. Disease status indicative of a relatively small tumor burden (resected metastatic or recurrent tumor) was a predictor for better TTP and good differentiation of the tumor was a predictor for better OS.
Conclusion: Docetaxel 75 mg/m(2) is relatively active and tolerable as a second-line salvage treatment after failure of fluoropyrimidine and platinum in general clinical practice for AGC.