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J Clin Oncol. 2000 Feb;18(4):868-76.

Phase II evaluation of preoperative chemoradiation and postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy for squamous cell and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.

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  • 1Departments of Oncology, Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287-8934, USA.



This phase II trial evaluated continuous-infusion cisplatin and fluorouracil (5-FU) with radiotherapy followed by esophagectomy. The objectives of this trial were to determine the complete pathologic response rate, survival rate, toxicity, pattern of failure, and feasibility of administering adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with resectable cancer of the esophagus treated with preoperative chemoradiation.


Patients were staged using computed tomography, endoscopic ultrasound, and laparoscopy. The preoperative treatment plan consisted of continuous intravenous infusion of cisplatin and 5-FU and a total dose of 44 Gy of radiation. Esophagogastrectomy was planned for approximately 4 weeks after the completion of chemoradiotherapy. Paclitaxel and cisplatin were administered as postoperative adjuvant therapy.


Forty-two patients were enrolled onto the trial. Of the 39 patients who proceeded to surgery, 29 responded to preoperative treatment: 11 achieved pathologic complete response (CR) and 18 achieved a lower posttreatment stage. Five patients had no change in stage, whereas eight had progressive disease (four with distant metastases and four with increases in the T and N stages). At a median follow-up of 30.2 months, the median survival time has not been reached and the 2-year survival rate is 62%. The median survival of pathologic complete responders has not been reached, whereas the 2-year survival rate of this group is 91% compared with 51% in patients with complete tumor resection with residual tumor (P =.03).


An excellent survival rate, comparable to that of our prior preoperative trial, was achieved with lower doses of preoperative cisplatin and 5-FU concurrent with radiotherapy.

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