Purpose: A phase II trial of accelerated fractionation radiation with concurrent cisplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy was performed to investigate the role of the paclitaxel, when substituted for fluorouracil (5-FU), in the chemoradiotherapy of esophageal cancer. Patients and Methods: Patients with an esophageal ultrasound stage of T3 or N1 or M1 (nodal) esophageal cancer were treated with two courses of a cisplatin infusion (20 mg/m2/d for 4 days) and paclitaxel (175 mg/m2 over 24 hours) concurrent with a split course of accelerated fractionation radiation (1.5 Gy bid to a total dose of 45 Gy). Surgical resection was performed 4 to 6 weeks later followed by a single identical postoperative course of chemoradiotherapy (24 Gy) in patients with significant residual tumor at surgery. Toxicity and results of this treatment were retrospectively compared with our previous 5-FU and cisplatin chemoradiotherapy experience. Results: Between September 1995 and July 1997, 40 patients were entered onto this study. Although dysphagia proved worse in our 5-FU-treated patients, profound leukopenia and a need for unplanned hospitalization were significantly more common in the paclitaxel group. Thirty-seven patients (93%) proved resectable for cure. The 3-year projected overall survival is 30%, locoregional control is 81%, and distant metastatic disease control is 44%. When compared with a similarly staged cohort of 5-FU-treated patients, there was no advantage for any survival function studied. Conclusion: This paclitaxel-based treatment regimen for locoregionally advanced esophageal cancer produced increased toxicity with no improvement in results when compared with our previous 5-FU experience. Paclitaxel-based treatments must be carefully and prospectively studied before their incorporation into the standard management of esophageal cancer. (C) 2000 American Society of Clinical Oncology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research