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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

CASARETTO, L.; SOUSA, P.L.R.  and  MARI, J.J.. Chemotherapy versus support cancer treatment in advanced gastric cancer: a meta-analysis. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2006, vol.39, n.4, pp. 431-440. ISSN 1414-431X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2006000400002.

The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of chemotherapy and support treatment in patients with advanced non-resectable gastric cancer in a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials that included a comparison of chemotherapy and support care treatment in patients diagnosed with gastric adenocarcinoma, regardless of their age, gender or place of treatment. The search strategy was based on the criteria of the Cochrane Base, using the following key words: 1) randomized clinical trials and antineoplastic combined therapy or gastrointestinal neoplasm, 2) stomach neoplasm and drug therapy, 3) clinical trial and multi-modality therapy, 4) stomach neoplasm and drug therapy or quality of life, 5) double-blind method or clinical trial. The search was carried out using the Cochrane, Medline and Lilacs databases. Five studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, for a total of 390 participants, 208 (53%) receiving chemotherapy, 182 (47%) receiving support care treatment and 6 losses (1.6%). The 1-year survival rate was 8% for support care and 20% for chemotherapy (RR = 2.14, 95% CI = 1.00-4.57, P = 0.05); 30% of the patients in the chemotherapy group and 12% in the support care group attained a 6-month symptom-free period (RR = 2.33, 95% CI = 1.41-3.87, P < 0.01). Quality of life evaluated after 4 months was significantly better for the chemotherapy patients (34%; RR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.31-3.28, P < 0.01) with tumor mass reduction (RR = 3.32, 95% CI = 0.77-14.24, P = 0.1). Chemotherapy increased the 1-year survival rate of the patients and provided a longer symptom-free period of 6 months and an improvement in quality of life.

Keywords : Gastric cancer; Systematic review; Combined antineoplastic therapy; Cancer support treatment; Meta-analysis; Chemotherapy.

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