Copyright ©2009 Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastrointest Oncol. Oct 15, 2009; 1(1): 47-54
Published online Oct 15, 2009. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v1.i1.47
Newly emerging standard chemotherapies for gastric cancer and clinical potential in elderly patients
Shinichi Sakuramoto, Keishi Yamashita, Masahiko Watanabe
Shinichi Sakuramoto, Keishi Yamashita, Masahiko Watanabe, Department of Surgery, Kitasato University Hospsital, Kitasato 1-15-1, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228-8555, Japan
Author contributions: Sakuramoto S, Yamashita K and Watanabe M designed the study; Watanabe M financially supported the study; Yamashita K and Sakuramoto S collected data and wrote the manuscript; all authors approved the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Masahiko Watanabe, MD, PhD, FACS, Department of Surgery, Kitastao University Hospital, Kitasato 1-15-1, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228-8555, Japan.
Telephone: +81-42-7788111 Fax: +81-42-7788111
Received: April 2, 2009
Revised: July 29, 2009
Accepted: August 5, 2009
Published online: October 15, 2009

With the increase in average life expectancy, the rate of occurrence of gastric cancer in elderly patients is also rising. While many clinical trials have been conducted to examine the effect of chemotherapy treatment on gastric cancer, age limits for eligible subjects have prevented the establishment of standards for chemotherapy in elderly patients with gastric cancer. As of March 2009, evidence-based standard chemotherapy regimens were established. In the Western world, debates centered on the ECF (Epirubicin/cisplatin/5-FU) or DCF (Docetaxel/cisplatin/5-FU) regimens based on the phase III randomized controlled trial at the Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH) or the V325 study, respectively. The JCOG9912 and SPIRITS trials emerged from Japan indicating attractive regimens that include S-1 for advanced gastric cancer patients. Using these active anticancer drugs, the trials that studied the efficacy of adjuvant therapies or surgical approaches, such as the Int-116/MAGIC/ACTS-GC trials, have actually succeeded in demonstrating the benefits of adjuvant therapies in gastric cancer patients. For cases of gastric cancer in elderly patients, treatment policies should consider these studies while analyzing not only the therapeutic effects but also drug toxicity, individual general health conditions, and social factors to select treatments that emphasize quality of life.

Keywords: Gastric cancer, Elderly patients, Chemotherapy, Regimen comparison