Real-World Treatment Patterns among Patients with Advanced Gastric Cancer in South Korea

Cancer Research and Treatment. Jul 2017;49(3):578-587


The purpose of this study was to understand patient treatment patterns, outcomes, and healthcare resource use in cases of metastatic and/or locally recurrent, unresectable gastric cancer (MGC) in South Korea.


Thirty physicians reviewed charts of eligible patients to collect de-identified data. Patients must have received platinum/fluoropyrimidine first-line therapy followed by second-line therapy or best supportive care, had no other primary cancer, and not participated in a clinical trial following MGC diagnosis. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to describe survival.


Of 198 patients, 73.7% were male, 78.3% were diagnosed with MGC after age 55 (mean, 61.3 years), and 47.0% were current or former smokers. The majority of tumorswere located in the antrum/pylorus (51.5%). Metastatic sites most often occurred in the peritoneum (53.5%), lymph nodes (47.5%), and liver (38.9%). At diagnosis, the mean Charlson comorbidity indexwas 0.4 (standard deviation, 0.6). The most common comorbidities were chronic gastritis (22.7%) and cardiovascular disease (18.7%). Most patients (80.3%) received second-line treatment. Single-agent fluoropyrimidine was reported for 22.0% of patients, while 19.5% were treated with irinotecan and a fluoropyrimidine or platinum agent. The most common physician-reported symptoms during second-line treatment were nausea/vomiting (44.7%) and pain (11.3%), with antiemetics (44.7%), analgesics (36.5%), and nutritional support (11.3%) most often used as supportive care. Two-thirds of inpatient hospitalizations were for chemotherapy infusion. Outpatient hospitalization (31.6%) and visits to the oncologist (58.8%) were common among second-line patients.


Most patients received second-line treatment, although regimens varied. Understanding MGC patient characteristics and treatment patterns in South Korea will help address unmet needs.

View abstract


Carter GC, Kaltenboeck A, Ivanova J, Liepa AM, San Roman A, Koh M, Rajan N, Cheng R, Birnbaum HG, Kim JS, Bang YJ