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Quality of life in patients with advanced gastric cancer: a randomized trial comparing docetaxel, cisplatin, 5-FU (TCF) with epirubicin, cisplatin, 5-FU (ECF)

Sanambar Sadighi1, Mohammad Ali Mohagheghi1, Ali Montazeri2* and Zahra Sadighi1

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Research Center, Cancer Institute, Imam Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, Tehran, Iran

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:274  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-274

Published: 5 December 2006



Health related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important outcome after treatment for upper gastrointestinal carcinoma. This study aimed to compare HRQOL in patients with advanced gastric cancer (GC) receiving either a standard or an experimental treatment.


Seventy-one patients have been treated in Cancer Institute (Tehran, Iran) with docetaxel, cisplatin, 5 FU (TCF) or epirubicin, cisplatin, 5-FU (ECF) and were followed from Jan 2002 to Jan 2005. End points were response rate, HRQOL and survival. HRQOL was assessed using the EORCT QLQ-C30 at baseline and after the third cycle of chemotherapy.


The baseline HRQOL scores were comparable between two groups. After treatment improvement was seen in a number of items and domains except for cognitive functioning, and diarrhoea. Pain decreased and physical functioning improved in both groups. However, only the TCF group showed statistically and clinically meaningful improvement in global QOL (P = 0.001). Surgical and pathologic response was better with TCF but there was no difference in survival rate between two groups.


Docetaxel based treatment (TCF) showed better palliation and improvement of global QOL as compared with epirubicin based treatment (ECF). However, it seems that regardless of treatment offered, effective chemotherapy was the most important factor affecting QOL in these patients.