Patients who receive chemotherapy after surgery for gastric cancer have a higher rate of survival compared to those patients who have surgery alone.
Xavier Paoletti, PhD, of the Institut National du Cancer in Boulogne, France, and colleagues with the Global Advanced/Adjuvant Stomach Tumor Research International Collaboration (GASTRIC) Group, performed a meta-analysis to assess the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy. They identified 31 eligible trials (6,390 patients) and, as of 2010, individual patient data were available from 17 trials (3,838 patients representing 60% percent of the targeted data) with a median follow up exceeding seven years.
They found that there were 1,000 deaths among 1,924 patients assigned to chemotherapy groups and 1,067 deaths among 1,857 patients assigned to surgery-only groups.
The estimated median overall survival (OS) was 4.9 years in the surgery-only group vs 7.8 years in the group receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.
An absolute improvement of about 6% in OS was observed after five years and maintained at 10 years. Five-year OS increased from 49.6% to 55.3% with chemotherapy (JAMA 303:1729-1737, 2010).