Author(s): Koizumi W, Kim YH, Fujii M, Kim HK, Imamura H
PURPOSE: Cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil has been globally accepted as a standard regimen for the treatment for advanced gastric cancer. However, cisplatin has several disadvantages, including renal toxicity and the need for admission. S-1 plus cisplatin has become a standard treatment for advanced gastric cancer in East Asia. This phase III study was designed to evaluate the potential benefits of adding docetaxel to S-1 without a platinum compound in patients with advanced gastric cancer. METHODS: Patients were randomly assigned to receive docetaxel plus S-1 or S-1 alone. The docetaxel plus S-1 group received docetaxel on day 1 and oral S-1 on days 1-14 of a 21-day cycle. The S-1 alone group received oral S-1 on days 1-28 of a 42-day cycle. The primary end point was overall survival. RESULTS: Of the 639 patients enrolled, 635 were eligible for analysis. The median overall survival was 12.5 months in the docetaxel plus S-1 group and 10.8 months in the S-1 alone group (p = 0.032). The median progression-free survival was 5.3 months in the docetaxel plus S-1 group and 4.2 months in the S-1 alone group (p = 0.001). As for adverse events, neutropenia was more frequent in the docetaxel plus S-1 group, but remained manageable. CONCLUSION: As first-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer, docetaxel plus S-1 significantly improves median overall and progression-free survival as compared with S-1 alone. (ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT00287768).