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J Clin Oncol. 2007 Jan 1;25(1):110-7.

Multicenter phase II trial of chemoradiation with oxaliplatin for rectal cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol. 2007 May 20;25(15):2149.



To evaluate the activity and safety of preoperative radiotherapy (RT) and concurrent capecitabine and oxaliplatin (XELOX-RT) plus four cycles of adjuvant XELOX in patients with rectal cancer.


One hundred ten patients with T3/T4 or N+ rectal cancer were entered onto the trial in 11 investigator sites and received preoperative RT (50.4 Gy in 28 fractions). Capecitabine was administered concurrently at 1,650 mg/m2 on days 1 to 14 and 22 to 35, and oxaliplatin was administered at 50 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, 22, and 29. Surgery was scheduled 4 to 6 weeks after completion of XELOX-RT. Four cycles of adjuvant XELOX (capecitabine 1,000 mg/m2 bid on days 1 to 14; oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 on day 1) were administered. The main end points were activity as assessed by the pathologic complete response (pCR) rate and the feasibility of postoperative XELOX chemotherapy.


After XELOX-RT, 103 of 104 eligible patients underwent surgery; pCR was achieved in 17 patients (16%), one patient had ypT0N1 disease, and 53 patients showed tumor regression of more than 50% of the tumor mass. R0 resections were achieved in 95% of patients, and sphincter preservation was accomplished in 77%. Full-dose preoperative XELOX-RT was administered in 96%. Grade 3 or 4 diarrhea occurred in 12% of patients. Postoperative complication occurred in 43% of patients. Sixty percent of patients received all four cycles of adjuvant XELOX, with sensory neuropathy (18%) and diarrhea (12%) being the main grade 3 or 4 toxicities.


Preoperative XELOX-RT plus four cycles of adjuvant XELOX is an active and feasible treatment. This regimen is proposed for phase III evaluation comparing standard fluorouracil-based treatment with XELOX- based multimodality treatment.

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