Pilot study of concurrent 5-fluorouracil/paclitaxel plus radiotherapy in patients with carcinoma of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction.

Schnirer II, Komaki R, Yao JC, Swisher S, Putnam J, Pisters PW, Roth JA, Ajani JA
Am J Clin Oncol. 2001 24 (1): 91-5

PMID: 11232959 · DOI:10.1097/00000421-200102000-00018

Preoperative concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be highly effective but are often associated with significant rates of morbidity and even mortality. We studied the toxicity of continuous infusion of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and weekly paclitaxel combined with radiotherapy. Patients had histologic proof of local-regional carcinoma of the esophagus or gastroesophageal (GE) junction, a Karnofsky performance status of 70 or greater, and normal liver, renal, and bone marrow functions. Chemotherapy consisted of continuous infusion of 5-FU (300 mg/m2/d) for 5 days a week for 5 weeks, plus paclitaxel (45 mg/m2) given during 3 hours every week for 5 weeks. Based on the tumor location and its resectability, the total dose of concurrent radiation varied between 45 Gy and 50.4 Gy. Nine men and one woman, with a median age of 61 years, were evaluated. One had GE junction cancer, six had distal esophageal cancer, and three had midesophageal cancer. Weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and dysphagia of grades I and II were noted. The hematologic toxicity was mild. No patients required transfusion. There was no leukopenia or thrombocytopenia. None of the patients was hospitalized during chemoradiation; all patients completed treatment as outpatients. Five patients had subsequent surgical resections: one had a pathologically complete response, and two had a partial response (>90% necrosis). Continuous infusion of 5-FU plus paclitaxel given concurrently with radiotherapy was well tolerated. We plan to study this regimen further in upper gastrointestinal cancers.

MeSH Terms (17)

Adenocarcinoma Aged Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Combined Modality Therapy Drug Administration Schedule Esophageal Neoplasms Esophagogastric Junction Female Fluorouracil Humans Male Middle Aged Paclitaxel Pilot Projects Radiation-Sensitizing Agents Radiotherapy

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