Adjuvant Radiochemotherapy Has Lasting Benefit in Gastric Cancer

Patients with gastric cancer who undergo resection show survival benefit 10 years later

FRIDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Ten-year data from the Southwestern Oncology Group-directed Intergroup Study 0116 confirm the benefits of adjuvant radiochemotherapy after gastric cancer resection in terms of overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS), according to research published online May 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Stephen R. Smalley, M.D., of the Radiation Oncology Center of Olathe, Kan., and colleagues updated follow-up data from the Southwestern Oncology Group-directed Intergroup Study 0116 phase III trial involving 559 patients with gastric cancer who were treated with either adjuvant radiochemotherapy or observation after resection. Participants were at moderate risk of locoregional failure after surgery, and results were presented after a median of more than 10 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that adjuvant radiochemotherapy continued to demonstrate strong benefit in both OS and RFS (hazard ratio, 1.32 and 1.51, respectively), except in the subset of patients with diffuse histology. Secondary malignancies were seen in more patients treated with radiotherapy than observation, but the difference was not significant (P = 0.21).

"The authors conclude that the observed benefits appear to outweigh a possible increased risk of second malignancy. In light of the documented survival benefits after 10 years of follow-up, this conclusion seems reasonable," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

One study author received funding from Pathfinder. The authors of the editorial disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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