Adding Ramucirumab to Paclitaxel Maintains QoL in Advanced Gastric Cancer

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The addition of ramucirumab to paclitaxel for treatment of advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma increased overall survival.
The addition of ramucirumab to paclitaxel for treatment of advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma increased overall survival.

In patients with previously treated advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma, adding ramucirumab to paclitaxel improved overall survival while maintaining patient quality of life by delaying symptom worsening and functional status deterioration, according to a study published in the Annals of Oncology.1

The phase 3 RAINBOW trial showed that the addition of ramucirumab, a human vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) antagonist, to paclitaxel improved overall survival, progression-free survival, and response rate in patients with advanced gastric/GEJ adenocarcinoma who were previously treated with fluoropyrimidine-platinum therapy. Results regarding quality of life and performance analyses from the RAINBOW study have been reported.

For the study, 665 patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG)  performance status of 0 or 1 were randomly assigned to receive ramucirumab 8 mg/kg intravenously or placebo on days 1 and 15 of a 28-day cycle, in addition to paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15. Investigators assessed patient-reported outcomes using the quality of life/health status questionnaires EORTC QLQ-C30 and EQ-5D at baseline and 6-week intervals. Performance status and time to deterioration were also evaluated.

Results showed that patients who received ramucirumab had similar or longer time to deterioration in quality of life compared with those who received placebo. Furthermore, treatment with ramucirumab was associated with a delay to time to deterioration of performance status to 2 or worse (P = .0941).

Researchers found that health-related quality of life, as measured by EQ-5D scores was similar between the 2 arms, with the scores being stable during treatment and worsening at the time of discontinuation.


  1. Al-Batran S-E, Van Cutsem E, Oh SC, et al. Quality-of-life and performance status results from the phase 3 RAINBOW study of ramucirumab plus paclitaxel versus placebo plus paclitaxel in patients with previously treated gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma [published online ahead of print January 7, 2015]. Ann Oncol. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv625.

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