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Chemotherapy or targeted therapy as second-line treatment of advanced gastric cancer. A systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies.

ABSTRACT: Chemotherapy is a cornerstone in treatments of gastric cancer, but despite its benefit, less than 60% of patients receive salvage therapy in clinical practice. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis based on trial data on the role of second-line treatment of advanced gastric cancer. MEDLINE/PubMed and Cochrane Library were searched for randomized phase III trials that compared active therapy to best supportive care in advanced gastric cancer. Data extraction was conducted according to the PRISMA statement. Summary HR for OS was calculated using a hierarchical Bayesian model and subgroup analysis was performed based on baseline Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG) performance status (0 vs. 1 or more). A total of 1,407 patients were evaluable for efficacy, 908 were treated in the experimental arms, with chemotherapy (231 pts) or with targeted therapies (677 pts). The risk of death was decreased by 18% (HR?=?0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.85; posterior probability HR?1: <0.00001) with active therapies. Chemotherapy and ramucirumab were able to decrease this risk by 27% and 22%, respectively. No differences were found between chemotherapy and ramucirumab. In patients with ECOG?=?0 a greater benefit was found for chemotherapy with a reduction of the risk of death by 43% and no benefits were found for ramucirumab or everolimus. In patients with ECOG?=?1 or more a significant reduction of the risk of death by 32% was reported in patients treated with ramucirumab, even if no significant difference was reported between chemotherapy and ramucirumab. This analysis reports that active and available therapies are able to prolong survival in patients with advanced gastric cancer with a different outcome based on initial patient's performance status. New trials based on a better patient stratification are awaited.

SUBMITTER: Iacovelli R 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4182573 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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