Medline: 1984825

Cancer 67(1): 260-265, 1991.

Current strategies in the management of locoregional and metastatic gastric carcinoma.

Ajani JA, Ota DM, Jackson DE, et al.


Gastric carcinoma remains a significant cause of death worldwide. A patient's prognosis depends on the degree of gastric wall penetration, presence of lymph node metastases, and location of the primary site. Metastatic gastric carcinoma is currently incurable. However, chemotherapy continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Active agents include 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), doxorubicin, cisplatin, methotrexate, mitomycin, and etoposide. Combination etoposide, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (EAP) has been reported to result in encouragingly high response rates, including a 10% complete response rate in patients with metastatic gastric carcinoma. Trials are now under way to confirm these results. Similarly, another etoposide-based combination, etoposide, leucovorin, and 5-FU (ELF), has resulted in an equally good response rate but less toxicity than EAP. The 5-FU, doxorubicin, and methotrexate (FAMTX) regimen, previously reported to have an excellent response rate, is also being investigated further. For patients with locoregional carcinoma, curative resection rate is often unsatisfactorily low; however, curative resection is consistently associated with improved survival (between 23 and 26 months). In patients with potentially resectable carcinoma, two significant problems must be recognized: (1) a low rate of curative resection and (2) the development of widespread carcinoma despite curative resection. Despite many attempts, the postoperative strategies of adjuvant chemotherapy have been ineffective. New strategies must be investigated aggressively. Combination etoposide, 5-FU, and cisplatin (EFP) has been administered preoperatively and postoperatively to patients with resectable gastric carcinoma, resulting in an encouraging curative resection rate (greater than 70%) and manageable toxicity. Based on promising results reported with EAP in patients with unresectable locoregional carcinoma of the stomach, a trial of preoperative and postoperative EAP in potentially resectable carcinoma of the stomach is now under way. (35 Refs)

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