Key words: gastric cancer
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Background. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has become one of the topics of interest in chemotherapy of gastric cancer; the present study assessed the clinical benefits of neoadjuvant chemotherapy with oral uracil and futrafur (UFT) for gastric cancer. Methods. Between 1991 and 1997, 82 patients with gastric cancer (36 with early and 46 with advanced cancers) received UFT at 300–600 mg/day orally for 1–6 weeks before surgery. Objective responses, histological effects, and postsurgical survival rates were assessed. Results. In 69 of the 82 patients, the objective responses of the primary lesions were assessed by endoscopy or upper gastrointestinal series examination, and 2 complete responses (CR)s, 25 partial responses (PRs), and 42 no changes (NCs) were seen (39.1% response). Histological effects were evaluated in 82 patients, and 2 grade 3, 11 grade 2, 11 grade 1b, 27 grade 1a, and 31 grade 0 effects were seen. A longer period of UFT administration was associated with a CR or PR. However, the objective responses did not correlate with the histological effects. All the patients underwent gastrectomy, and during the median follow-up period of 41 months, 3-year survival rates were 97.1% for pTNM stage 1, 75% for stage 2, 86.7% for stage 3, and 41.6% for stage 4. The survival rates of stage 3 and stage 4 patients were higher than those of the historical controls in our department. However, CR or PR did not correlate with the improvement in survival. Side effects before surgery were not serious; they included slight myelotoxicity, liver dysfunction, and anorexia; however, 3 patients (3.7%) had suture insufficiency, 3 patients (3.7%) had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) enteritis, and 7 patients (8.5%) had liver dysfunction. Conclusions. Preoperative chemotherapy for gastric cancer with oral UFT was safe and resulted in a good local response (macro- and microscopically) which may indicate the possibility of improved survival with neoadjuvant chemotherapy with UFT. Furthermore, preoperative chemotherapy with oral UFT is easy and patients can receive this treatment on an outpatient basis.
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