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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Nov 1;69(3):770-6.

Paclitaxel-based chemoradiotherapy in the treatment of patients with operable esophageal cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



To compare a neoadjuvant regimen of cisplatin/5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and concurrent radiation therapy (RT) with paclitaxel-based regimens and RT in the management of operable esophageal (EC)/gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer.


All patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (CT) and RT for EC/GEJ cancer at Duke University between January 1995 and December 2004 were included. Clinical end points were compared for patients receiving paclitaxel-based regimens (TAX) vs. alternative regimens (non-TAX). Local control (LC), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Chi-square analysis was performed to test the effect of TAX on pathologic complete response (pCR) rates and toxicity.


A total of 109 patients received CT-RT followed by esophagectomy (95 M; 14 F). Median RT dose was 45 Gy (range, 36-66 Gy). The TAX and non-TAX groups comprised 47% and 53% of patients, respectively. Most (83%) TAX patients received three drug regimens including platinum and a fluoropyrimidine. In the non-TAX group, 89% of the patients received cisplatin and 5-FU. The remainder received 5-FU or capecitabine alone. Grade 3-4 toxicity occurred in 41% of patients receiving TAX vs. 24% of those receiving non-TAX (p = 0.19). Overall pCR rate was 39% (39% with TAX vs. 40% with non-TAX, p = 0.9). Overall LC, DFS, and OS at 3 years were 80%, 34%, and 37%, respectively. At 3 years, there were no differences in LC (75% vs. 85%, p = 0.33) or OS (37% vs. 37%, p = 0.32) between TAX and non-TAX groups.


In this large experience, paclitaxel-containing regimens did not improve pCR rates or clinical end points compared to non-paclitaxel-containing regimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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