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Ann Oncol. 2000 Oct;11(10):1263-6.

A phase II study of weekly docetaxel as salvage chemotherapy for advanced gastric cancer.

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Medical oncology Unit, Hospital of Urbino, Italy.



Docetaxel has shown some activity in advanced gastric cancer. Recent phase I studies found low hematologic toxicity and a favourable toxicity profile when docetaxel was administered on a weekly schedule. In this study, we explored the activity of weekly docetaxel in patients with advanced gastric cancer who failed first-line chemotherapy.


Patients with stable or progressing disease after first-line chemotherapy received 36 mg/m2 weekly docetaxel. One cycle consisted of six administrations followed by a two-weeks rest, patients were re-evaluated at week eight. The optimal two-stage design was adopted for early stopping of the trial if responses were one or less in 21 patients (< 20% response rate with alpha and beta error probabilities 0.05 and 0.010 respectively).


Twenty-one patients have been enrolled and they are fully evaluable for response and toxicity. One patient achieved partial response, 8 patients had stable disease and 12 patients progressed. Median overall survival from the onset of salvage chemotherapy was 3.5 months. Hematologic toxicity was observed in two patients who experienced grade III leukopenia. Beginning from the third week of treatment, most of the patients (90%) showed grade II asthenia which resulted the commonest side-effect.


This schedule of weekly docetaxel did not show significant activity in pretreated patients with advanced gastric cancer.

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