Background: Based on the results of the SPIRITS trial, combination chemotherapy of S-1 plus cisplatin (SP) is now considered the standard treatment for patients with advanced gastric cancer (AGC) in Japan. On the other hand, several non-Japanese studies have shown the efficacy of capecitabine plus cisplatin (XP), which has been used as the reference arm in recent global studies of AGC. Methods: We retrospectively compared the efficacy and safety of SP and XP in first-line treatment for patients with AGC. Results: From August 2006 to November 2008, 26 AGC patients received XP in the context of 2 global trials (AVAGAST and ToGA), and 50 patients received SP during the same period. The objective response rate was 43.2 % in the SP group and 50 % in the XP group, with no significant difference (p = 0.62). There were also no significant differences in progression-free survival (median 5.8 vs. 5.2 months; p = 0.91) and overall survival (median 13.8 vs. 13.5 months; p = 0.97) between the SP and XP groups. The frequencies of hematological toxicities of grade 3 or more and non-hematological toxicities were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Although grade 1 or 2 hand-foot syndrome was more common in the XP group, no patients experienced grade 3 or more. Conclusions: Although the retrospective nature of this study and the small number of patients is a major limitation, SP and XP were associated with similar efficacy and safety in patients with AGC.
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