Background: The present study was designed to assess the feasibility and efficiency of intraperitoneal and intravenous neoadjuvant chemotherapy in gastric cancer patients with peritoneal dissemination. Methods: The study subjects were 25 treatment-naïve patients with gastric cancer. Patients with positive cytology or with peritoneal carcinomatosis received neoadjuvant intraperitoneal and systemic chemotherapy (NIPS), comprising intraperitoneal (i.p.) mitomycin C (MMC) and cisplatin (CDDP), followed by two cycles of intravenous triplet chemotherapy of docetaxel, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), and CDDP. Gastrectomy with lymph node dissection was performed after NIPS in patients free of peritoneal deposits, confirmed by staging laparoscopy. Results: Seventeen patients had measurable lymph node metastases by the RECIST criteria. CT examination showed response to the treatment in ten (59%, 0 complete response, 10 partial response). Of the 25 patients, 14 (56%) showed negative results on peritoneal cytology with no macroscopic peritoneal metastasis, whereas the remaining 11 were cancer cell-positive on peritoneal cytology or macroscopic peritoneal metastasis even after NIPS. The median survival time for all 25 patients was 16.7 months. Prognosis was better in patients who showed negative cytology and disappearance of peritoneal cancer metastases after NIPS than in those with positive cytology or existing peritoneal deposits (P < 0.0001). The predominant toxicity was myelosuppression and grade 3-4 leukopenia and neutropenia occurred in 20 (80%) patients, which were manageable. No treatment-related mortality was observed during and after NIPS and surgery. Conclusions: The results of this prospective phase II study indicated that the newly designed NIPS was highly effective and well tolerated in patients with advanced gastric cancer and peritoneal dissemination.
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