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Research

Perioperative chemotherapy in locally advanced gastric cancer in Chile: from evidence to daily practice

7 Jun 2021
Bettina Müller, Carlos García, José A Sola, Wanda Fernandez, Patrick Werner, Mauricio Cerda, Jeannie Slater, Carlos Benavides, Jorge Arancibia, Rodrigo Ascui, Felipe Reyes, Mary Anne Stevens, Juan Pablo Miranda, Martin Buchholtz, Alejandro Corvalan

Gastric cancer (GC) is a leading cause of cancer death in Chile. Although recommended in international guidelines since 2006, perioperative chemotherapy was not available to patients in the public health system in Chile until 2016. We conducted an observational study to assess the feasibility of this strategy in public hospitals in Chile (Observational Study of Perioperative Chemotherapy in Locally Advanced Gastric Cancer – PRECISO). Patients with locally advanced, operable GC were offered to receive preoperative chemotherapy with Epirubicin + Cisplatin + Capecitabine (ECX) for three cycles followed by curative surgery. Staging included abdominal CT scan and laparoscopy if peritoneal carcinomatosis was suspected. Postoperative ECX for three cycles was recommended. Between August 2010 and March 2013, 110 patients were screened and 61 enrolled. Median age was 62 years (23–76 years) and most patients had good performance status at baseline (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score (ECOG) 0: 42, ECOG 1: 19). Tumour site was proximal in 32 (52%) and medial and distal in 29 (48%) patients. All but four patients (n = 57, 93%) completed three cycles of preoperative chemotherapy. Fifty-six patients were operated and 54 (89%) had a curative resection. Thirty-three patients (54%) had pT0-2, and 18 (30%) had pN0 tumours, with two patients achieving a complete response. As of 20 December 2020, 39 patients died, 32 due to GC, one within 30 days of surgery, two due to intestinal obstruction at 5 and 3 months after surgery and four due to other causes. Five-year survival rate was 38%. We conclude that perioperative chemotherapy is feasible in public hospitals in Chile and should be offered to patients with locally advanced GC.

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