1. Department of Medical Oncology / Hematology, City Hospital Triemli, Zurich, Switzerland.
2. BC Cancer Agency - Centre for the Southern Interior, Kelowna, Canada.
3. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Background: Small bowel adenocarcinoma (SBA) is associated with a poor prognosis. It is an uncommon malignancy and therefore difficult to study. Randomized phase III trials are not available to guide best approaches. The Provincial Cancer Registry of the British Columbia Cancer Agency contains long-term data on patients with SBA. The authors analyzed characteristics and treatment outcomes for SBA patients diagnosed between 1990 and 2008.
Material and methods: Charts of 150 patients with a histological diagnosis of SBA were retrospectively analyzed. Epidemiological and treatment data were collected. Disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Baseline characteristics, such as median age at diagnosis (64.5 years), tumor stage (I-II 33%, III-IV 58%, unknown 9%), and location (duodenum 48%, jejunum 31%, ileum 21%) were consistent with published data. 55% of patients had a positive family history of cancer. DFS and OS of 29 patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy were not significantly different to that of 47 patients without (p = 1 and p = 0.211, respectively). In the palliative setting patients treated with polychemotherapy (21 patients) had statistically better OS than patients treated with monochemotherapy (12 patients) (p = 0.0228).
Conclusions: Our study suggests a survival benefit for advanced-stage SBA patients treated with poly- versus monochemotherapy. This, however, was a retrospective analysis with several potential confounders. Nevertheless, our study adds to the evidence suggesting that chemotherapy may be beneficial for patients with SBA, at least in the palliative setting.
Keywords: small bowel, adenocarcinoma, chemotherapy, adjuvant, palliative.