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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1997 Aug;114(2):210-7.

Preoperative chemotherapy versus surgical therapy alone for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus: a prospective randomized trial.

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1
Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study investigated the role of preoperative chemotherapy in squamous cell cancer of the esophagus.

METHODS:

A prospective randomized trial was undertaken in 147 patients: 74 received preoperative chemotherapy comprising cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil and 73 had surgical therapy alone. End points were cancer and therapy-related deaths.

RESULTS:

Sixty-six patients (89%) in the chemotherapy group underwent resection compared with 69 (95%) in the control group (p = not significant). Of the 60 patients who had resection after completing the chemotherapy program, 35 (58%) had a significant response, of whom four (6.7%) had a complete pathologic response. Postoperative mortality rates were 8.3% and 8.7% in the chemotherapy and control groups, respectively (p = not significant). Significant downstaging was evident with chemotherapy; curative resections were possible in 67% of these patients compared with 35% in the control group (p = 0.0003). T3 and T4 tumors were found in 67% and 91% of the chemotherapy and control groups, respectively (p = 0.0002). The respective figures for N1 disease were 70% and 88% (p = 0.009). An intent-to-treat analysis of survival showed no significant difference between the two groups. Median survivals were 16.8 and 13 months, respectively (p = 0.17). Of those who completed the chemotherapy and resection, responders fared better than control patients. Median survivals were 42.2 months and 13.8 months, respectively (p = 0.003). Median survival (8.3 months) was worse for nonresponders than for control patients (p = 0.03). The recurrence pattern suggested a significant reduction in locoregional disease with chemotherapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Preoperative chemotherapy was safe and resulted in significant downstaging and an increased likelihood of curative resection. Survival was not better than that in the surgery-alone group, but responders did fare better than nonresponders.

PMID:
9270638
DOI:
10.1016/S0022-5223(97)70147-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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