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Ann Surg Oncol. 2008 Jan;15(1):88-95. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

A highly active and tolerable neoadjuvant regimen combining paclitaxel, carboplatin, 5-FU, and radiation therapy in patients with stage II and III esophageal cancer.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.



The present phase II study aimed to assess the feasibility and efficacy of a new paclitaxel-based neoadjuvant chemoradiation regimen followed by surgery in patients with stage II-III esophageal cancer.


From January 2002 to November 2004, 50 patients with a potentially resectable stage II-III esophageal cancer received chemotherapy with paclitaxel, carboplatin, and 5-FU in combination with radiotherapy 45 Gy in 25 fractions. Surgery followed 6-8 weeks after completion of neoadjuvant treatment.



male/female: 44/6, median age 60 years (34-75), median WHO 1 (0-2), adenocarcinoma (n = 42), squamous cell carcinoma (n = 8). Toxicity was mild, and 84 % of the patients completed the whole regimen. Forty-seven patients underwent surgery with a curative intention (transhiatal n = 44, transthoracic n = 3). Pathologic complete tumor regression was achieved in 18 of 47 operated patients (38%). R0 resection was achieved in 45 of 47 operated patients (96%). There were four postoperative deaths (8.5). Postoperative complications were comparable with other studies. After a median follow-up of 41.5 months (21-59) estimated 3- and 5-year survival on an intention-to-treat basis was 56 and 48%. Estimated 3-year survival in responders was 61%, in nonresponders 33%.


This novel neoadjuvant chemoradiation regimen for treatment of patients with stage II-III esophageal cancer is feasible. Results are encouraging with a high pathologic complete tumor regression and R0 resection rate and an acceptable morbidity and mortality. Preliminary survival data are very promising.

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