Treatment patterns in patients with advanced gastric cancer in Taiwan

Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology. June 2017;13(3):185-194


To describe treatment patterns, outcomes and healthcare resource use in patients with metastatic and/or locally recurrent, unresectable gastric cancer (MGC) in Taiwan.


Patients who had received first-line therapy (platinum and/or fluoropyrimidine) followed by second-line therapy or best supportive care (BSC) only were eligible. Participating physicians provided de-identified information from patient charts. Data were summarized descriptively and Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to describe time to events.


Overall, 37 physicians contributed 122 patient charts. Of the 122 patients (median age, 61 years; 62% male), 43 (35%) received BSC only following first-line therapy, whereas 79 (65%) received second-line therapy. There was heterogeneity in second-line treatment, although fluoropyrimidine with or without a platinum agent was most frequently used. Median survival was 12.5 (interquartile range [IQR], 8.2-20.8) months from MGC diagnosis for patients receiving second-line therapy and 8.0 (IQR, 5.6-not reached) months for patients receiving BSC only. The most common treatment-related symptoms were nausea/vomiting (58%); the most common cancer-related symptoms were pain (61%), ascites (35%) and nausea/vomiting (33%). Inpatient and outpatient hospitalizations were numerically more common for patientsreceiving second-line therapy than for those receiving BSC only; the prevalence of hospice and skilled nursing facility stays were numerically more common for patients receiving BSC only.


In this Taiwanese MGC population, 65% received active second-line therapy with heterogeneity seen in the regimen used. Clinical outcomes suggest an unmet medical need in this population. This study may help inform clinical practice and future research to ultimately improve patient outcomes in Taiwan.

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Cuyun Carter G, Kaltenboeck A, Ivanova J, Liepa AM, San Roman A, Koh M, Rajan N, Cheng R, Birnbaum H, Chen JS