Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combination chemotherapy shows small survival benefit in advanced stomach cancer

20.04.2005


Patients with advanced stomach cancer have the best chance of prolonging their survival with a combination of chemotherapies instead of just one, according to a new review of previous studies.



The review also concludes that the best combination is 5-FU, one of the oldest and most commonly used chemotherapy drugs, along with powerful antibiotics called anthracyclines and a platinum-based drug called cisplatin. The benefit, however, is small and may cause a patient to experience more discomfort from the higher toxicity.

The review was conducted by Dr. Anna Dorothea Wagner of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany and colleagues. It appears in the April issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.


Despite recent progress, stomach cancers remain the second highest cause of cancer death worldwide, in large part because the majority of stomach cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage of the disease when tumors are inoperable. Although small tumors can be surgically removed in the earliest stages of the disease, the only cure for advanced stomach cancer is complete removal of the stomach.

When Wagner and colleagues compared survival rates among 1,338 patients receiving combination versus single-drug care, they found that half the patients receiving combination treatment were still living seven months later, while half of those taking a single drug were still living 5.9 months later. Most of the patients in the studies were age 56 to 64.

Combination therapies were more toxic than single-drug therapies, however, so "it remains an open question, whether the benefit in survival does indeed compensate for the burden of additional toxicity to be endured by the patient," Wagner says.

The overall rate of toxic deaths among the studies was 2.1 percent for combination chemotherapy and 0.9 percent for single-drug therapy, according to the Cochrane researchers.

Although nine of 10 relevant studies did not demonstrate a significant benefit in overall survival for the combination chemotherapy, powerful statistical analysis did "demonstrate a small but statistically significant and consistent benefit for the combination versus single agent therapy in terms of over overall survival," the reviewers conclude.

For those whom the three-drug therapy is recommended, the review found that large single doses of 5-FU were more likely to cause death than gradual intravenous administration.

Combination chemotherapy is used on a variety of cancers, from lung cancer to endometrial cancers, and combination therapy is the preferred treatment for advanced stomach cancer in the United States and Europe, according to Wagner. Yet combination therapy for stomach cancer "is regarded as controversial in Japan," where most physicians rely on single-drug therapy, Wagner says.

In the United States, the prevalence of cancers at the junction between the stomach and the esophagus, the muscular tube that feeds food to the stomach, is increasing, perhaps in part due to an increase in chronic acid reflux disease, Wagner says.

"Early diagnosis of gastric cancer is difficult because most patients are asymptomatic in the early stage," says Dr. Peter Lopez, a clinical professor and surgeon and the University of Miami School of Medicine. "Weight loss and abdominal pain often are late signs of tumor progression,"

In the next Cochrane review of advanced stomach cancer treatments, scheduled for 2006, researchers will examine the effects of anticancer therapies still in clinical trials that specifically target stomach cancer cells.

Anna Dorothea Wagner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cfah.org
http://www.hbns.org
http://www.cochrane.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>