Background: Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer- related deaths worldwide and ranks11th or 14th among all deaths. Patients with advanced disease require supportive care along with the medical and/or surgical treatment. Aim: To assess the need for palliative care for patients with advanced tumours along withstandard clinical therapy. Materials and
Methods: Eighty-four patients with metastatic (stage 4) gastric cancer,including both patients who had received surgical treatment or not , were followed up in Bagcilar Training andResearch Hospital, Division of Medical Oncology between 2011 and 2014. They were categorised as supportivecare (-) (Group 1, n=37) and (+) groups (Group 2, n=47) and evaluated retrospectively.
Results: Demographiccharacteristics of the patients were as follows: mean age, Group 1, 65.2±10.5 years, Group 2,63.7±11.3 years;male/female ratio, Group 1, 21/16, Group 2, 28/19; distribution of Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group(ECOG) performance scores of 0 and 1, Group 1, ECOG 0 (n=9) and 1 (n=14), Group 2, ECOG 0 (34) and 1(n=13) (p<0.0001); patients receiving second-line, Group 1 (n=7) and Group 2 (n=22) (p<0.008) or third - linechemotherapy,Group 2 (n=6) (p<0.02); mortality rates, Group 1, (n=28; 75.6%) and Group 2 (n=30; 63.8%);progression-free survival (PFS) rates, Group 1, 17.4±6 weeks, Group 2, 28.3±16.2 weeks; statistically significantoverall survival rates, Group 1, 20.8±8.2 weeks and Group 2, 28.3 ± 162 weeks (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Thesupportive care team (medical oncologist, general surgeon, internal medicine specialist, algologist, psychiatristand radiologist) can play a role in the treatment of metastatic gastric tumours, with improvements shown interms of the performance status of cases, eligibility of patients to be on chemotherapy programmes for longerduration and overall survival rates in Turkey.