Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Systemic chemotherapy is the main treatment option for advanced gastric cancer when the tumor is inoperable. Despite recent advances in chemotherapeutic agents, the prognosis of unresectable or recurrent gastric cancer remains extremely poor. In Japan, combination therapy including S-1 and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer; however, the five-year survival rate remains very low. Lentinan, the backbone of beta-(1,3)-glucan with beta-(1,6) branches, an active ingredient purified from Shiitake mushrooms, has been approved as a biological response modifier for the treatment of gastric cancer. This agent has been used in combination with oral fluoropyrimidines to improve the overall survival of gastric cancer patients. A retrospective chart review on 138 metastatic gastric cancer patients receiving chemotherapy was performed in Nagoya Memorial Hospital from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2015. 12 patients with liver metastases were treated by lentinan in combination with S-1-based chemotherapy. The rate of objective response was 42% (5/12) and the disease control rate was 83% (10/12) in response to chemo-immunotherapy using lentinan, with a median overall survival of 407 days (95% CI: 207-700 days).
Keywords: chemo-immunotherapy; gastric cancer; lentinan; liver metastases; trastuzumab.