PURPOSE - To evaluate the long-term outcome of chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy, and surgery for patients with locoregionally advanced esophageal cancer.
METHODS AND MATERIALS - Thirty-eight patients with locoregionally advanced esophageal cancer were entered into a Phase II study between November 1996 and October 1998 at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Patients initially received two cycles of chemotherapy with paclitaxel (200 mg/m(2)), 5-fluorouracil (750 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days), and cisplatin (15 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days), followed by chemoradiotherapy, consisting of radiation (45 Gy during 5 weeks) with 5-fluorouracil (300 mg/m(2)/d during radiation) and cisplatin (15 mg/m(2)/d for 5 days). Surgical resection was performed 4-6 weeks after the completion of the chemoradiotherapy.
RESULTS - Most patients had adenocarcinoma (n = 32; 84%). Pretreatment endoscopic ultrasonography revealed T3 tumors in 33 patients (87%) and N1 disease in 25 patients (66%). Thirty-seven patients (97%) completed the planned chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy, and 35 patients (92%) underwent surgery, with a 30-day mortality rate of 6% (2 of 35 patients). A pathologic complete response or microscopic residual carcinoma (<10% viable) was found in 25 (71%) of 35 patients and was associated with a disease-free survival rate of 72% at 3 years and 51% at 5 years. On the basis of an intention-to-treat analysis and a median potential follow-up of 58 months, the 3- and 5-year overall survival rate for all 38 patients was 63% and 39%, respectively.
CONCLUSION - The long-term results of this study suggest that the strategy of induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiotherapy and surgery is safe and warrants further evaluation in the treatment of patients with locoregionally advanced esophageal cancer.