Best supportive care and prognosis: advanced gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma

Kirsty E. Cavanagh, Mark A. Baxter (Lead / Corresponding author), Russell D. Petty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Real-world data are lacking on survival in patients with advanced gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GOA) treated with best supportive care (BSC) alone. This knowledge is vital to personalise cancer treatment and obtain informed consent. This study aimed to define and compare survival in patients with advanced GOA treated with and without palliative chemotherapy (CTx), and to explore the factors that impact prognosis.

Methods: Patients in NHS Tayside, Scotland, diagnosed with advanced GOA (defined as non-resectable) over a 2-year period were identified retrospectively. Clinical data were obtained from electronic records. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis were performed to determine median overall survival (mOS) and investigate contributing factors.

Results: 127 eligible patients were identified. There was a significant difference in mOS between patients in the BSC and CTx groups (3.1 months vs 8.9 months, p=0.00089). This was maintained when those deemed not fit for CTx were removed. One-year survival was 16% versus 33%. Cox regression analysis in the BSC group identified stage (p<0.001) and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) (p=0.013) as having independent predictive value for survival. Age was not related to outcome. Palliative stents were inserted in 48 patients (37.8%).

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the largest reported study in Europe of outcomes in patients with advanced GOA treated with BSC only. The mOS with BSC is approximately 3 months. Cancer stage and ECOG PS have a role in prognostication at diagnosis. Our findings support the benefit of palliative chemotherapy in this population, and real-world survival corresponds to published trial data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002637
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Supportive & Palliative Care
Early online date23 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2021


  • clinical decisions
  • dysphagia
  • gastrointestinal (upper)
  • supportive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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