A phase II study of biweekly dose-intensified oral capecitabine plus irinotecan (bXELIRI) for patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer
We investigated 2-weekly intravenous irinotecan combined with oral capecitabine in patients with advanced gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma. In phase I, doses were escalated in chemotherapy naïve or pretreated patients to establish maximum tolerated doses (MTD). In phase II, patients were treated at MTD as first-line therapy with the primary end point of RECIST response. Dose levels in phase I were as follows: Level 1: irinotecan 150 mg m−2 on day 1; capecitabine 850 mg m−2 12-hourly on days 1–9. Level 2: as level 1 but capecitabine 1000 mg m−2. Level 3: as level 2 but irinotecan 180 mg m−2. Level 4: as level 3 but capecitabine 1250 mg m−2. In phase I, 21 patients were entered. Maximum tolerated dose was level 3. Dose-limiting toxicities were lethargy, diarrhoea, vomiting and mucositis. In phase II, 31 patients were entered at level 3. During the first six cycles, 13 of these patients underwent dose reduction and three patients stopped treatment for toxicity. A further six patients stopped for progressive disease. The commonest grade 3–4 toxicities were lethargy (20%), diarrhoea (17%), nausea (10%) and anorexia (10%). There were no treatment-related deaths. The response rate was 32% (95% CI 16–52%). Median overall survival was 10 months. This regimen is active in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma. However, using the MTD defined in phase I, fewer than 50% patients tolerated six cycles without modification in phase II; therefore, modification of these doses is recommended for further study.