Purpose Intraperitoneal paclitaxel plus systemic chemotherapy demonstrated promising clinical effects in patients with gastric cancer with peritoneal metastasis. We aimed to verify its superiority over standard systemic chemotherapy in overall survival. Patients and Methods This randomized phase III trial enrolled patients with gastric cancer with peritoneal metastasis who had received no or short-term (, 2 months) chemotherapy. Patients were randomly assigned at a two-to-one ratio to receive intraperitoneal and intravenous paclitaxel plus S-1 (IP; intraperitoneal paclitaxel 20 mg/m2 and intravenous paclitaxel 50 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 plus S-1 80 mg/m2 per day on days 1 to 14 for a 3-week cycle) or S-1 plus cisplatin (SP; S-1 80 mg/m2 per day on days 1 to 21 plus cisplatin 60 mg/m2 on day 8 for a 5-week cycle), stratified by center, previous chemotherapy, and extent of peritoneal metastasis. The primary end point was overall survival. Secondary end points were response rate, 3-year overall survival rate, and safety. Results We enrolled 183 patients and performed efficacy analyses in 164 eligible patients. Baseline characteristics were balanced between the arms, except that patients in the IP arm had significantly more ascites. The median survival times for the IP and SP arms were 17.7 and 15.2 months, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.49 to 1.04; stratified log-rank P = .080). In the sensitivity analysis adjusted for baseline ascites, the hazard ratio was 0.59 (95% CI, 0.39 to 0.87; P = .008). The 3-year overall survival rate was 21.9% (95% CI, 14.9% to 29.9%) in the IP arm and 6.0% (95% CI, 1.6% to 14.9%) in the SP arm. Both regimens were well tolerated. Conclusion This trial failed to show statistical superiority of intraperitoneal paclitaxel plus systemic chemotherapy. However, the exploratory analyses suggested possible clinical benefits of intraperitoneal paclitaxel for gastric cancer.
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