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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-87

Modified Epirubicin, cisplatin, and 5-FU regimen as first-line chemotherapy in metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma: A Phase II study

Department of Medical Oncology, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tamojit Chaudhuri
Department of Medical Oncology, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_146_18

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Background: Epirubicin, cisplatin, and 5-FU (ECF) is one of the most commonly used first-line chemotherapy regimens in metastatic gastric cancer. However, due to protracted infusion schedule, need for special infusion pumps, and catheter-related complications, the practical utility and acceptability of standard ECF regimen are limited, particularly in resource-constrained settings including India. Materials and Methods: In the present study, we have used a more convenient modification of the standard ECF protocol (using 5 days intravenous infusion of 5-FU at a dose of 750 mg/m2/day, given over 6 h through a peripheral venous line), in Indian patients with metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). The secondary endpoints were overall response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and toxicity profile. Results: Between January 2014 and December 2017, 107 patients were assigned and treated with this modified ECF regimen. The median age was 52 years (range, 34–62); 66.3% were males and 36.5% of the patients had ≥ 3 metastatic disease site involvement at baseline. Dose reductions due to toxicity were required in 14.9% of the patients. The ORR was 32.7%; median PFS and OS were 5.9 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.7–6.9) and 10.4 months (95% CI: 8.4–11.8), respectively. Both the hematological and nonhematological toxicities were manageable, and there was no toxicity-related death. The most frequent Grade 3–4 adverse events were neutropenia (18.7%), febrile neutropenia (13.1%), mucositis (5.6%), and diarrhea (5.6%). Conclusions: In the present study, the modified ECF regimen demonstrated significant efficacy with an acceptable toxicity profile in Indian patients with metastatic gastric and GEJ adenocarcinoma. The survival outcomes of this modified schedule were comparable with those of the standard ECF regimen, as reported earlier. Clearly, this modified and more convenient ECF protocol should be explored and validated through large prospective randomized trials.

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