Prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial of cimetidine in gastric cancer. British Stomach Cancer Group.
Langman MJ., Dunn JA., Whiting JL., Burton A., Hallissey MT., Fielding JW., Kerr DJ.
Cimetidine is thought to inhibit suppressor T-lymphocyte function and preliminary evidence from a randomized trial indicated that it might prolong survival for patients with operable and inoperable gastric cancer. The British Stomach Cancer Group conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial examining the effects of cimetidine (400 mg or 800 mg twice a day) on the survival of patients with early (stages I, II and III: n = 229) and advanced (stages IVa and IVb: n = 201) gastric cancer. The primary end point was death. A total of 442 patients were randomized by 59 consultants in 39 hospitals between February 1990 and March 1995. Log-rank survival analysis was used to assess differences between the groups. Three hundred and forty patients died during the study: 166 (49%) in the cimetidine treatment groups and 174 (51%) in the placebo groups. Median survival for patients receiving cimetidine was 13 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 9-16 months) and 11 months in the placebo arm (95% CI 9-14 months). There was no significant difference in survival between the two treatment groups (P = 0.42) or between different doses of cimetidine tablets (P = 0.46). Five-year survival of those patients randomized to cimetidine was 21% compared to 18% for those patients randomized to placebo. Cimetidine at a dose of 400 mg or 800 mg twice a day does not have a significant influence on the survival of patients with gastric cancer compared to placebo.