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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Mar 15;67(4):1002-7. Epub 2006 Dec 29.

A Phase I study of capecitabine, carboplatin, and paclitaxel with external beam radiation therapy for esophageal carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



Concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy (RT) are used to treat patients with esophageal cancer. The optimal combination of chemotherapeutic agents with RT is undefined. We evaluated a combination of capecitabine, carboplatin, and paclitaxel with RT in a phase I study.


Patients with squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma of the esophagus initially received capecitabine, carboplatin, and paclitaxel with RT (1.8 Gy daily to 50.4 Gy). After completion, patients were restaged and evaluated for surgery. Primary endpoints included determination of dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) and a recommended phase II dose, non-DLT, and preliminary radiographic and pathologic response rates.


Thirteen patients were enrolled (10 men, 3 women). All were evaluable for toxicity and efficacy. Two of 3 patients at dose level 1 (capecitabine 825 mg/m(2) twice daily on RT days, carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) 2 weekly, paclitaxel 60 mg/m(2) weekly) had DLT (both Grade 4 esophagitis). Of these 3, 2 underwent esophagectomy and had pathologic complete response (pCR). Ten patients were then enrolled at dose level -1 (capecitabine 600 mg/m(2) twice daily, carboplatin AUC 1.5, paclitaxel 45 mg/m(2)). Overall, 3 of 10 patients at dose level -1 developed DLT (2 Grade 3 esophagitis, 1 Grade 3 hypotension). Esophagectomy was performed in 6 of 10 patients. All patients had pathologic downstaging and 2 of 6 had pCR.


The maximally tolerated/recommended phase II doses were capecitabine 600 mg/m(2) twice daily, carboplatin AUC 1.5 weekly, and paclitaxel 45 mg/m(2) weekly with RT to 50.4 Gy. In our small study, this regimen appears active but is accompanied by significant toxicities, primarily esophagitis.

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