Author(s): Woo SM, Lee WJ, Han SS, Park SJ, Kim TH
Background: Palliative chemotherapy is currently the primary therapeutic approach in the treatment of advanced biliary tract cancer (BTC). Our aim was to assess the efficacy and safety of capecitabine plus cisplatin as first-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced BTC and to analyze the relationship between the level of CA19-9 and clinical outcome. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients who had unresectable, metastatic or recurrent BTC who were treated with capecitabine plus cisplatin. Capecitabine was administered orally at a dose of 1,000 mg/m(2) twice a day for 14 days, followed by a 1-week rest period. Cisplatin was administered intravenously on days 1 and 8 at a dose of 30 mg/m(2) for 60 min every 3 weeks. Results: A total of 176 patients were enrolled. Among the 143 assessable patients, 24 (17%) had a partial response. A complete response was radiologically confirmed in 1 patient who had gallbladder cancer. Sixty-two patients (43%) had stable disease and 56 patients (39%) had progressive disease. With a median follow-up of 5.7 months, the median time-to-progression (TTP) was 3.7 months (95% CI 3.1-4.3) and the median overall survival (OS) was 7.4 months (95% CI 6.1-8.7). There was a significant positive correlation between CA19-9 response and TTP (r = 0.66, p = 0.01). CA19-9 response was also significantly correlated with OS (r = 0.57, p < 0.01). The most common grade 3/4 toxicities were nausea/vomiting [12 patients (6.8%)]. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the capecitabine/cisplatin regimen is well tolerated and has moderate activity against advanced BTC. The CA19-9 response may be a suitable surrogate marker for patients with BTC who are treated with capecitabine/cisplatin.