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Cancer. 1991 May 1;67(9):2258-61.

A randomized trial comparing radiation therapy versus concomitant radiation therapy and chemotherapy in carcinoma of the thoracic esophagus.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Instituto Nacional de Câncer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


From September 1982 to December 1985, 59 previously untreated patients with Stage II squamous cell carcinoma of the thoracic esophagus were randomly assigned to receive radiation therapy (RT) alone versus the concomitant use of RT and chemotherapy (CT) with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), mitomycin C, and bleomycin (RT + CT). Thirty-one patients were randomized to the RT regimen and 28 to the RT + CT regimen. The complete local response rate was 58% for the RT group and 75% for the RT + CT group (P = 0.77). The median duration of response was 8 months for both groups. The overall 5-year survival rates were 6% and 16% (P = 0.16) for the RT and RT + CT groups, respectively. Acute toxicities were more pronounced in the RT + CT group. This clinical trial did not detect a difference in outcome with combined-technique therapy. This result must be interpreted with caution because of the small number of patients entered in this trial. Confirmation of the value or lack of value for combined therapy will require additional larger clinical trials.

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