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Quality of life of palliative chemotherapy naive patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the stomach or esophagogastric junction treated with irinotecan combined with 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid: results of a randomised phase III trial.PURPOSE: The quality of life (QL) of advanced gastric cancer patients receiving irinotecan, folinic acid and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (IF arm) or cisplatin with 5-FU (CF arm) is presented. METHODS: Patients with measurable or evaluable advanced gastric cancer received IF weekly for 6/7 weeks or CF q4 weeks. QL was assessed using the EORTC QLQ-C30 at baseline, subsequently every 8 weeks until progression and thereafter every 3 months until death. The QL data were analysed using several statistical methods including summary measures and pattern-mixture modelling. RESULTS: A total of 333 patients were randomised and treated (IF 170, CF 163). The time-to-progression for IF and CF was 5.0 and 4.2 months (P = 0.088), respectively. The overall compliance rates for QL questionnaire completion were 60 and 56% in the IF and CF arms, respectively. Significant treatment differences were observed for the physical functioning scale (P = 0.024), nausea\vomiting (P = 0.001) and EQ-5D thermometer (P = 0.020) in favour of the IF treatment arm. CONCLUSION: There was a trend in favour of IF over CF in time-to-progression. The IF group also demonstrated a better safety profile than CF and a better QL on a number of multi-item scales, suggesting that IF offers an alternative first-line platinum-free treatment option for advanced gastric cancer.