A phase 2 study of SP1049C, doxorubicin in P-glycoprotein-targeting pluronics, in patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction
In advanced gastric cancer few data are available on the efficacy or safety of new drug combination regimens after progression following first-line chemotherapy. Patients with histologically confirmed advanced gastric cancer and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) less than 2, progressing after first-line chemotherapy, were eligible. Patients were treated with docetaxel 75 mg/m2 on day 1 and oxaliplatin 80 mg/m2 on day 2, every 3 weeks, until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Between May 2002 and April 2005, 38 patients were enrolled. Men accounted for 73.7% of the patients and the median age was 59 years. The primary tumor was not resected in 47.4% of the patients; the peritoneum was the most frequent metastatic site (60.5%). The first-line treatment was cisplatin, epirubicin, and infusional 5-fluorouracil (ECF) in 81.5% of the patients and cisplatin and infusional 5-fluorouracil (CF) in 15.7%. The median number of cycles was 4.3. The treatment was well tolerated, with no toxic deaths. National Cancer Institute (NCI) grade III-IV neutropenia was frequent (26.3%), but no febrile neutropenia was reported. Severe asthenia (15.7%) and severe nausea (15.7%) required dose reductions in 2 patients and treatment discontinuation in another. The overall response rate was 10.5%, and 18 patients (47.3%) experienced disease stabilization (7 of them with significant clinical benefit). Median time to progression was 4.0 months (range, 2–8 months) and median overall survival was 8.1 months (range, 3–26 months). Thirteen patients (34.2%) also received third-line chemotherapy, with an irinotecan-containing regimen, and their median overall survival was higher than that of the other patients (16.3 vs 6.0 months) The combination of oxaliplatin and docetaxel shows only marginal activity as second-line treatment, but it has a good tolerability profile. This suggests that there is room for optimizing the schedule as well as for planning sequential treatments in gastric cancer.