Purpose: No standard adjuvant treatment currently is recommended in localized biliary tract cancer (BTC) after surgical resection. We aimed to assess whether gemcitabine and oxaliplatin chemotherapy (GEMOX) would increase relapse-free survival (RFS) while maintaining health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients who undergo resection.
Patients and methods: We performed a multicenter, open-label, randomized phase III trial in 33 centers. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) within 3 months after R0 or R1 resection of a localized BTC to receive either GEMOX (gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 on day 1 and oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2 infused on day 2 of a 2-week cycle) for 12 cycles (experimental arm A) or surveillance (standard arm B). Primary end points were RFS and HRQOL.
Results: Between July 2009 and February 2014, 196 patients were included. Baseline characteristics were balanced between the two arms. After a median follow-up of 46.5 months (95% CI, 42.6 to 49.3 months), 126 RFS events and 82 deaths were recorded. There was no significant difference in RFS between the two arms (median, 30.4 months in arm A v 18.5 months in arm B; hazard ratio [HR], 0.88; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.25; P = .48). There was no difference in time to definitive deterioration of global HRQOL (median, 31.8 months in arm A v 32.1 months in arm B; HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 0.73 to 2.26; log-rank P = .39). Overall survival was not different (median, 75.8 months in arm A v 50.8 months in arm B; HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.66; log-rank P = .74). Maximal adverse events were grade 3 in 62% (arm A) versus 18% (arm B) and grade 4 in 11% versus 3% ( P < .001).
Conclusion: There was no benefit of adjuvant GEMOX in resected BTC despite adequate tolerance and delivery of the regimen.