Background: In Japan, S-1 plus cisplatin has been used as first-line therapy for advanced gastric cancer (AGC). Patients with no response to first-line treatment with S-1 often receive a taxane-alone or irinotecan-alone as second-line treatment. However, second-line treatment with S-1 plus irinotecan is widely used in patients with AGC resistant to first-line S-1-based chemotherapy. The goal of this trial was to determine whether the consecutive use of S-1 plus irinotecan improves survival when compared with irinotecan-alone as second-line treatment for AGC.
Patients and methods: Patients who had disease progression during first-line S-1-based chemotherapy were randomly assigned to receive S-1 plus irinotecan or irinotecan-alone. The S-1 plus irinotecan group received oral S-1 (40-60 mg/m(2)) on days 1-14 and intravenous irinotecan (150 mg/m(2)) on day 1 of a 21-day cycle. The irinotecan-alone group received the same dose of irinotecan intravenously on day 1 of a 14-day cycle. The primary end point was overall survival (OS).
Results: From February 2008 to May 2011, a total of 304 patients were enrolled. The median OS was 8.8 months in the S-1 plus irinotecan group and 9.5 months in the irinotecan-alone group. This difference was not significant (hazard ratio for death, 0.99; 95% confidence interval 0.78-1.25; P = 0.92). Grade 3 or higher toxicities were more common in the S-1 plus irinotecan group than in the irinotecan-alone group.
Conclusion: The consecutive use of S-1 plus irinotecan is not recommended as second-line treatment in patients who are refractory to S-1-based first-line chemotherapy. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT00639327.
Keywords: S-1; gastric cancer; irinotecan; second-line chemotherapy.
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