For Previously Treated Metastatic Gastric Cancer, Pemetrexed Alone May Be Safe, Effective

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According to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer, monotherapy with pemetrexed shows activity and is well tolerated for the treatment of previously treated patients with metastatic gastric cancer.

Because of the wide debate surrounding second-line and beyond chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic gastric cancer, researchers sought to investigate the efficacy and safety of pemetrexed alone in previously treated patients with metastatic stomach cancer.

For the single-arm, phase 2 study, researchers enrolled 34 patients into the study. All patients received pemetrexed 500mg/m2 intravenously every 21 days until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

At the time of analysis, 34 patients were evaluable for toxicity and 30 were evaluable for response. Results showed that 13.3% of patients achieved a partial response, 50% had stable disease, and 36.7% had progressive disease as the best response. The median progression-free survival was 2.2 months (95% CI: 2.0 - 5.5) and the median overall survival was 6.4 months (95% CI: 5.8 - 9.5). The most common severe adverse events were anorexia, fatigue, neutropenia, transaminase elevation, thrombocytopenia, and weight loss.

According to the American Cancer Society, gastric cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world, particularly in less developed countries.

The Changing Landscape of Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment
Monotherapy with pemetrexed shows activity for the treatment of previously treated patients with metastatic gastric cancer
The authors designed this phase II trial to assess the efficacy and safety of pemetrexed in patients with pretreated metastatic gastric cancer. The monochemotherapy of pemetrexed is active and well tolerated when used in previously treated patients with metastatic gastric cancer.
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