Comparison of 4-Weekly vs 3-Weekly Gemcitabine as Adjuvant Chemotherapy Following Curative Resection for Biliary Tract Cancer: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial


Background: Surgery for biliary tract cancer, including pancreatoduodenectomy and major hepatectomy, is too aggressive and does not allow postoperative gemcitabine to be administered by the usual dosage protocol. We hypothesized that the feasibility of 3-weekly protocol (days 1 and 8, every 3 weeks) of adjuvant gemcitabine therapy may be superior to the usual 4-weekly protocol (days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks). Method: We compared the outcomes of 6 cycles of the 4-weekly protocol and 9 cycles of the 3-weekly protocol in a prospective randomized setting. The primary endpoint was the completion rate, and the secondary endpoints were the adverse events and the recurrence-free survival rate. Results: Totally, 27 patients were enrolled. The protocol could be completed without any omittances and/or dose modifications in two patients (14%) of the 4-weekly protocol, and three patients (23%) of the 3-weekly protocol (p = 0.8099); grade 3/4 neutropenia occurred in almost all the remaining (70%) patients. The relative dose intensity was 72% in the 4-weekly protocol and 78% in the 3-weekly protocol. There was no significant difference in the recurrence-free survival rate. Conclusion: The 3-weekly protocol did not yield superior completion, adverse events or recurrence-free survival rates as compared to the 4-week protocol. Trial Registration: UMIN-CTR, UMIN000001020.

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S. Kobayashi, A. Miyamoto, J. Shimizu, M. Kashiwazaki, Y. Takeda, S. Ueshima, Y. Kim, T. Kitagawa, K. Dono, M. Mori, Y. Doki and H. Nagano, "Comparison of 4-Weekly vs 3-Weekly Gemcitabine as Adjuvant Chemotherapy Following Curative Resection for Biliary Tract Cancer: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 2 No. 5, 2011, pp. 703-709. doi: 10.4236/jct.2011.25095.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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