Background. 5′-Deoxy-5-fluorouridine (5′-DFUR, doxifluridine) is a recently developed prodrug of oral 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), which is used clinically in Japan for the treatment of gastric, colorectal, and breast cancer. 5-FU has been reported to act synergistically with cisplatin (CDDP) in experimental and clinical studies. The authors conducted a multicenter Phase II study of combination therapy with 5′-DFUR and CDDP to evaluate the therapeutic usefulness of this regimen in the treatment of unresectable and advanced gastric cancers with primary foci. None of the patients had previously undergone chemotherapy. Their ages ranged from 27 to 75 years and performance status was grade 0 to 3.
Methods. 5′-DFUR (1400 mg/m2/d) was administered orally on days 1 through 4 and 15 through 18, and CDDP (80 mg/m2/d) was injected intravenously on day 5. This treatment cycle was repeated every 4 weeks. An independent panel of specialists evaluated the clinical response.
Results. Fifty-one patients were studied. Clinical evaluation of response was possible in 43 patients who met the protocol requirements. The overall response rate was 50.0% (14 of 28, 95% confidence limits, 30.7%–69.4%) for patients with measurable lesions. The median duration of response was 5.2 months (156 days). The overall median survival time was 8.9 months (268 days) for evaluated patients. Therapeutic toxicity of World Health Organization (WHO) grade ≧ 3 was manifested as anorexia and nausea or vomiting in 20.9% and 18.6% of the patients, respectively. However myelotoxicity and nephrotoxicity of WHO grades 3 and 4 occurred in less than 10% of the patient group. No drug-related mortality occurred.
Conclusions. Combined therapy with 5′-DFUR and CDDP is a safe and effective treatment regimen for advanced gastric cancers with primary foci which stresses the patient's quality of life, especially when used in an outpatient setting.