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Henry LR , Goldberg M , Scott W , Konski A , Meropol NJ , Freedman G , Weiner LM , Watts P , Beard M , McLaughlin S , Cheng JD
Induction cisplatin and paclitaxel followed by combination chemoradiotherapy with 5-fluorouracil, cisplatin, and paclitaxel before resection in localized esophageal cancer: A phase II report
ANNALS OF SURGICAL ONCOLOGY. 2006 Feb;13(2) :214-220
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Background: Multimodality therapy for esophageal cancer holds promise for improving outcome in this lethal disease. On the basis of encouraging data from a phase I trial, we conducted a phase II study of preoperative chemotherapy, followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy and surgery. Methods: Patients with clinically staged resectable esophageal cancer were treated with induction cisplatin and paclitaxel, followed by 45 Gy of external beam radiation with concurrent infusional 5-fluorouracil and weekly cisplatin and paclitaxel. Four to eight weeks after multimodality induction, esophagectomy was performed in suitable patients. Study end points were survival, pathologic complete response, and toxicity. Results: Twenty-one patients were enrolled with a median age of 58 years, and all patients were clinically staged II or III. Sixteen (76.2%) patients completed the trial, of whom four (25%) had a pathologic complete response. One patient died from postoperative complications. Grade 3 or 4 toxicity was observed in 76% of patients, and dose-limiting toxicity was seen in 6 of the first 14 patients, thus necessitating a planned dose reduction of paclitaxel. At a median follow-up of 30 months, 13 patients remain alive. The 2-year disease-specific survival for the study population was 78%. Conclusions: This regimen of multimodality therapy before resection resulted in an encouraging 2-year survival rate but a disappointing rate of pathologic complete response and was toxic, necessitating a predetermined paclitaxel dose reduction. The incorporation of taxanes into induction strategies for esophageal cancer seems promising, but the optimal schedule remains undefined.