Fluoropyrimidine (FP) plus platinum chemotherapy has been recently established as a second-line (L2) preferred option in advanced biliary tract cancer (aBTC) (ABC-06 phase III trial). However, the overall survival (OS) benefit was limited and comparison with FP monotherapy was not available. Our aim was to assess the OS of patients treated with a FP monotherapy compared to a doublet with irinotecan or platinum in L2. We performed a retrospective analysis of two large multicenter prospective cohorts: a French cohort (28 centers) and an Italian cohort (9 centers). All consecutive patients with aBTC receiving FP-based L2 after gemcitabine plus cisplatin/gemcitabine plus oxaliplatin L1 between 2003 and 2016 were included. A subgroup analysis according to performance status (PS) and an exploratory analysis according to platinum sensitivity in L1 were planned. In the French cohort (n = 351), no significant OS difference was observed between the FP monotherapy and doublet groups (median OS: 5.6 vs 6.8 months, P = .65). Stratification on Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) PS showed similar results in PS 0-1 and 2. Median OS was not different between FP monotherapy, platinum- and irinotecan-based doublets (5.6 vs 7.1 vs 6.7 months, P = .68). Similar findings were observed in the Italian cohort (n = 174) and in the sensitivity analysis in pooled cohorts (n = 525). No L2 regimen seemed superior over others in the platinum resistant/refractory or sensitive subgroups. Our results suggest that FP monotherapy is as active as FP doublets in aBTC in L2, regardless of the patient PS and country, and could be a therapeutic option in this setting.
Keywords: cholangiocarcinoma; combination chemotherapy; monotherapy; overall survival; palliative chemotherapy.