Comparative analysis of the efficacy and safety of chemotherapy with oxaliplatin plus fluorouracil/leucovorin between elderly patients over 65 years and younger patients with advanced gastric cancer

Yo Han Cho, Sung Yong Kim, M Hong Lee, Moon-Won Yoo, Ho-Yoon Bang, Kyung-Yung Lee, So Young Yoon
Gastric Cancer 2012, 15 (4): 389-95

BACKGROUND: A chemotherapy regimen with oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and leucovorin is commonly used to treat advanced gastric cancer (AGC). This study was designed to compare the efficacy and the safety of oxaliplatin plus fluorouracil/leucovorin administered biweekly (mFOLFOX6) between elderly patients aged over 65 years and younger counterparts with AGC.

METHODS: This analysis included 82 AGC patients (≥65:31, <65:51). Patients with previously untreated chemo-naïve advanced adenocarcinoma of the stomach received oxaliplatin 85 mg/m(2), 5-FU bolus 400 mg/m(2) on day 1 and 5-FU 1,500 mg/m(2), leucovorin 75 mg/m(2) 22 h infusion on days 1 and 2 every 2 weeks. The aim of the study was to compare efficacy and safety, including response rate (RR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and grade ≥3 adverse events, between patients aged ≥65 years and patients aged <65 years.

RESULTS: Median progression-free survival (PFS) was not significantly different between both groups (≥65: 5.8 months, <65: 5.7 months, respectively, HR 0.77, 95% CI: 0.44-1.16, P = 0.18). Median overall survival was not significantly different between both groups (≥65: 10.3 months, <65: 9.5 months HR 0.83, 95% CI: 0.50-1.37, P = 0.46). The rate of grade 3 or 4 neutropenia did not differ with age group (≥65: 51.6%, <65: 43.1%); nor did the rates of neutropenic fever (≥65: 16.1%, <65: 5.9%), and infection without neutropenia (≥65: 3.2%, <65: 3.9%). Rates of grade ≥3 toxicities such as thrombocytopenia, nausea/vomiting, or peripheral neuropathy were not significantly different between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: mFOLFOX6 maintains its efficacy and safety in elderly patients aged over 65 years in comparison with AGC patients aged <65 years. Its judicious use should be considered regardless of age.

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