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      Paclitaxel plus valproic acid versus paclitaxel alone as second- or third-line therapy for advanced gastric cancer: a randomized Phase II trial


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          Weekly paclitaxel (wPTX) is the preferred second-line chemotherapy for gastric cancer in Japan. Histone deacetylase inhibitors have been shown to decrease proliferation through cell-cycle arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis in gastric cancer cells. One histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproic acid (VPA), also inhibits tumor growth by inducing apoptosis and enhances the efficacy of paclitaxel (PTX), shown in a murine gastric cancer model. This Phase II trial was designed to evaluate the benefits of adding VPA to wPTX in patients with gastric cancer refractory to first-line treatment with fluoropyrimidine.

          Patients and methods

          The patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive PTX 80 mg/m 2 intravenously on days 1, 8, and 15, every 4 weeks, or a dose of PTX plus VPA taken everyday at 7.5 mg/kg twice daily. Random assignment was carried out at the data center with a minimization method adjusted by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (0–1 vs 2), prior chemotherapy (first-line vs second-line), and measurable lesions (presence vs absence). The primary end point was the overall survival (OS) rate, and the secondary end points were the progression-free survival rate and safety analysis.


          Sixty-six patients were randomly assigned to receive wPTX (n=33) or wPTX plus VPA (n=33). The median OS was 9.8 months in the wPTX group and 8.7 months in the wPTX plus VPA group (hazard ratio 1.19; 95% CI 0.702–2.026; P=0.51). The median progression-free survival was 4.5 months in the wPTX group and 3.0 months in the wPTX plus VPA group (hazard ratio 1.29; 95% CI 0.753–2.211; P=0.35). Grade 3–4 adverse events were neutropenia (3.1%), pneumonia (1.6%), liver injury (1.6%), brain infarction (1.6%), and rupture of aorta (1.6%).


          No statistically significant difference was observed between wPTX and wPTX plus VPA for OS.

          Most cited references23

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          Chemotherapy in advanced gastric cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis based on aggregate data.

          This systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of chemotherapy in patients with advanced gastric cancer. Randomized phase II and III clinical trials on first-line chemotherapy in advanced gastric cancer were identified by electronic searches of Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and Cancerlit; hand searches of relevant abstract books and reference lists; and contact to experts. Meta-analysis was performed using the fixed-effect model. Overall survival, reported as hazard ratio (HR) with 95% CI, was the primary outcome measure. Analysis of chemotherapy versus best supportive care (HR = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.28 to 0.52) and combination versus single agent, mainly fluorouracil (FU) -based chemotherapy (HR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.93) showed significant overall survival benefits in favor of chemotherapy and combination chemotherapy, respectively. In addition, comparisons of FU/cisplatin-containing regimens with versus without anthracyclines (HR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.95) and FU/anthracycline-containing combinations with versus without cisplatin (HR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.91) both demonstrated a significant survival benefit for the three-drug combination. Comparing irinotecan-containing versus nonirinotecan-containing combinations (mainly FU/cisplatin) resulted in a nonsignificant survival benefit in favor of the irinotecan-containing regimens (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.06), but they have never been compared against a three-drug combination. Best survival results are achieved with three-drug regimens containing FU, an anthracycline, and cisplatin. Among these, regimens including FU as bolus exhibit a higher rate of toxic deaths than regimens using a continuous infusion of FU, such as epirubicin, cisplatin, and continuous-infusion FU.
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            Survival advantage for irinotecan versus best supportive care as second-line chemotherapy in gastric cancer--a randomised phase III study of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Internistische Onkologie (AIO).

            The value of second-line therapy for metastatic gastric cancer is unclear. So far there are no randomised phase III data comparing second-line chemotherapy to best supportive care (BSC). In this prospective, multicenter, open label, randomised phase III study we compared irinotecan to BSC to evaluate the impact on survival of second-line chemotherapy. Eligible patients (pts) had metastatic or locally advanced gastro-oesophageal junction or gastric adenocarcinoma, objective tumour progression during or within 6months after first-line chemotherapy and ECOG performance status 0-2. Stratification for time of progression after first-line therapy, ECOG PS and pretreatment secured even distribution of important prognostic factors. Arm A: Irinotecan 250mg/m(2)q3w (first cycle) to be increased to 350mg/m(2), depending on toxicity. Arm B: BSC. Between 10/2002 and 12/2006 40 pts were randomised. The study was closed prematurely due to poor accrual. Responsefor arm A (19 pts evaluable): No objective responses, SD 53%, PD 47%. Improvement of tumour related symptoms: Arm A 50% of pts, arm B 7%. Overall Survival: (all events in 40 pts have occurred): The hazard ratio for death was reduced to 0.48 (95%CI 0.25-0.92) in the irinotecan-arm (p=0.012). Median survival arm A: 4.0months (95% CI 3.6-7.5), arm B: 2.4months (95% CI 1.7-4.9). Irinotecan as second-line chemotherapy significantly prolongs overall survival compared to BSC in the studied pts. Second-line chemotherapy can now be considered as a proven treatment option for metastatic or locally advanced gastric cancer. The study was supported by a research grant from Aventis and Pfizer. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Randomized, open-label, phase III study comparing irinotecan with paclitaxel in patients with advanced gastric cancer without severe peritoneal metastasis after failure of prior combination chemotherapy using fluoropyrimidine plus platinum: WJOG 4007 trial.

              This phase III study compared treatment with weekly paclitaxel and biweekly irinotecan in patients with advanced gastric cancer refractory to treatment with fluoropyrimidine plus platinum.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                25 July 2016
                : 10
                : 2353-2358
                [1 ]Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Kanazawa University Hospital, Kanazawa
                [2 ]Department of Surgery, Toyama Prefectural Central Hospital, Toyama
                [3 ]First Department of Surgery, Fukui University Hospital, Fukui
                [4 ]Department of Surgery, Toyama City Hospital, Toyama, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Sachio Fushida, Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Kanazawa University Hospital, 13-1 Takara-machi, Kanazawa 920-8641, Japan, Tel +81 76 265 2362, Fax +81 76 234 4260, Email fushida@ 123456staff.kanazawa-u.ac.jp
                © 2016 Fushida et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                valproic acid,paclitaxel,second- or third-line therapy,advanced gastric cancer


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