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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Feb 20;23(6):1237-44.

Paclitaxel-based chemoradiotherapy in localized gastric carcinoma: degree of pathologic response and not clinical parameters dictated patient outcome.

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  • 1Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Unit 426, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030-4009, USA.



Preoperative chemoradiotherapy may increase the R0 (curative) resection rate, overall survival (OS) duration, and disease-free survival (DFS) duration. We evaluated paclitaxel-based induction chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy in patients with localized gastric or gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma to determine its feasibility, impact on the R0 resection rate, type of pathologic response, OS, and DFS.


Patients with operable, localized gastric, or gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma were eligible. Staging included endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and laparoscopy. Patients received two 28-day cycles of induction chemotherapy of fluorouracil, paclitaxel, and cisplatin followed by 45 Gy of radiation and concurrent fluorouracil plus paclitaxel. The cancer was restaged and surgery was attempted. Postsurgery pathologic findings and R0 resection were correlated with OS and DFS.


Forty-one patients were enrolled. Most carcinomas were proximal (83%) and pretreatment stage EUST3 (85%). Forty patients (98%) underwent surgery, and 78% had an R0 resection. We observed a pathologic complete response (pathCR) rate of 20% and a pathologic partial response (pathPR) rate of 15% (< 10% residual cancer cells in the resected specimen). No pretreatment parameter (sex, cancer location, baseline T stage, or baseline N stage) predicted the type of postsurgery pathologic response, OS, or DFS. However, pathCR (P = .02), pathCR + pathPR (P = .006), R0 resection (P < .001), and postsurgery T and N stages (P = .01 and P < .001, respectively) were associated with OS. Same parameters were significantly correlated with DFS. Toxicity was manageable.


The type of pathologic response but not pretreatment parameters was associated with OS and DFS. Efforts to increase the rate of pathologic response and better systemic cancer control are warranted.

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