Purpose: Gastrointestinal cancer is frequently associated with malignant ascites, resulting in poor prognosis. While cell-free and concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy (CART) improves ascites-related symptoms, its clinical impact in combination with systemic chemotherapy is unclear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of CART in gastrointestinal cancer patients with massive ascites treated with chemotherapy. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of gastrointestinal cancer patients with massive ascites who received CART and chemotherapy at our hospital between July 2015 and September 2017. Results: A total of 30 patients received CART and chemotherapy: gastric cancer (n = 21) and colorectal cancer (n = 9). The initial CART improved performance status in 20% of the patients, and the mean serum albumin and creatinine was significantly improved. Median time to treatment failure and overall survival of chemotherapy following CART were 2.1 and 3.5 months in gastric cancer patients and 5.8 and 5.8 months in colorectal cancer patients, respectively. The frequency of paracentesis was decreased after introduction of CART followed by chemotherapy in 83% of gastric cancer and in all colorectal cancer patients who had received paracentesis before the initial CART. There were no grade 3/4 adverse events during the CART procedure. Grade 3/4 hematotoxic and non-hematotoxic adverse events of chemotherapy following CART were 30% and less than 10%, respectively. Conclusions: The combination of CART followed by chemotherapy is safe and could be a treatment option for gastrointestinal cancer patients with massive ascites.
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