Many patients have advanced esophageal cancer at diagnosis. However, the most optimal treatment has not been identified. Therefore, we evaluated a weekly regimen of carboplatin (area under the curve (AUC)) of 4 and paclitaxel at 100 mg/m2 as an induction or palliative treatment. All patients with advanced (gastro)esophageal cancer treated with this regimen between 2002–2018 were included. Exclusion criteria were previous radiotherapy or treatment elsewhere. Data on toxicity, response, and survival were collected. Analyses were performed in two groups: induction (iCT) or palliative chemotherapy (pCT). Median progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated with the Kaplan–Meier method. A total of 291 patients was included (iCT: 122; pCT: 169). Most patients had T3 carcinoma (iCT: 54%; pCT: 66%) and stage IV disease (iCT: 42%; pCT: 91%). A toxicity grade ≥3 occurred mainly as hematological toxicity (iCT: 71%; pCT: 73%) and gastrointestinal toxicity (iCT: 3%; pCT: 5%). Response rates were 48% (iCT) and 44% (pCT). Esophagectomy or definitive chemoradiotherapy followed in 42% of iCT, resulting in a PFS of 22.1 months (interquartile range (IQR): 12.4–114.2) and OS of 26.8 months (IQR: 15.4–91.7). For pCT, PFS was 8.2 months (IQR: 5.1–14.5) and OS 10.9 months (IQR: 6.5–18.3). This retrospective cohort study demonstrated that weekly carboplatin (AUC4) and paclitaxel (100 mg/m2 ) is a well-tolerated and effective induction or palliative treatment regimen for patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. Future research should directly compare this treatment regimen with other first-line treatment options to determine its true value for clinical practice.

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Department of Medical Oncology

de Man, F.M., van Eerden, R.A.G., Oomen - de Hoop, E., Veraart, J.N., van Doorn, N., van Doorn, L., … Mathijssen, R. (2019). Efficacy and Toxicity of Weekly Carboplatin and Paclitaxel as Induction or Palliative Treatment in Advanced Esophageal Cancer Patients. Cancers, 11(6). doi:10.3390/cancers11060826