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Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2012 Apr 17;92(15):1028-32.

[A multi-centered randomized controlled study of neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery versus surgery alone for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus: an interim analysis].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Thoracic Oncology, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-Sen University, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Guangzhou 510060, China.



To evaluate the safety and validity of neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery for locally advanced esophageal carcinoma.


Patients with IIB, III staged squamous cell carcinoma of thoracic esophagus were randomly allocated to either preoperative chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery (arm A) or surgery alone (arm B). In arm A, chemotherapy and radiotherapy were performed concurrently. Patients received two cycles of vinorelbine and cisplatin. Vinorelbine at 25 mg/m(2) per day was administered as a bolus infusion at d1, d8, d22 and d29. Cisplatin at 75 mg/m(2) was administered by an intravenous infusion at d1 and d22 (or 25 mg/m(2) days 1 - 4 and 22 - 25). A total radiotherapeutic dose of 40 Gy was delivered in 20 daily fractions of 2.0 Gy each (5 d/wk for 4 weeks). Three-incisioned esophagectomy was performed at Weeks 4 - 6 after chemoradiotherapy. Primary outcome was overall survival time. An interim analysis was performed in June 2011.


From July 2007 to June 2011, 123 eligible patients were randomly assigned at 7 cooperative cancer centers (54 cases in arm A vs 69 cases in arm B). In arm A, the clinical response rate of chemoradiotherapy was 90.7%. All patients finished the preoperative chemoradiotherapy. Forty-nine cases continued to receive esophagectomy. The pathological complete response rate was 29.6%. The rate of R0 resection in arm A was significant higher than that in arm B(96.0% vs 85.5%, P = 0.015). The most common grade 3/4 toxicity of chemoradiotherapy was leukopenia occurring in 33 cases (61.1%). Vomiting and esophagitis were usually of Grade 1/2. No patient died or abandoned surgery because of chemoradiation toxicity. Between arms A and B, operative duration, blood loss, duration of chest tube drainage and length of postsurgical hospital stay were similar. The incidences of postoperative heart failure (2.0% vs 1.4%, P = 1.000), anastomotic leakage (8.2% vs 11.6%, P = 0.759) and hoarseness (6.1% vs 4.3%, P = 0.691) were not significantly different. The incidence of pulmonary infection in arm A was slightly higher than that in arm B (8.2% vs 1.4%, P = 0.094). No perioperative deaths occurred in either group. There were no significant differences in overall survivals at 1, 2 years between arms A and B (85.6%/75.5% vs 79.1%/66.1%, P = 0.207). The disease-free survivals at 1, 2 years in arm A were slightly higher than in arm B (86.6%/83.2% vs 70.9%/61.8%, P = 0.075).


Neo-adjuvant chemoradiation followed by surgery may achieve a high clinical response rate and pathologic complete tumor regression rate. It significantly increases the R0 resection rate and down stage the esophageal cancer patients. But its ultimate efficacy awaits further follow-up studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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