This study was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of preoperative chemoradiation consisting of carboplatin and paclitaxel and concurrent radiotherapy for patients with resectable (T2-3N0-1M0) oesophageal cancer. Treatment consisted of paclitaxel 50 mg m-2 and carboplatin AUC = 2 on days 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 and concurrent radiotherapy (41.4 Gy in 23 fractions, 5 days per week), followed by oesophagectomy. All 54 entered patients completed the chemoradiation without delay or dose-reduction. Grade 3-4 toxicities were: neutropaenia 15%, thrombocytopaenia 2%, and oesophagitis 7.5%. After completion of the chemoradiotherapy 63% had a major endoscopical response. Fifty-two patients (96%) underwent a resection. The postoperative mortality rate was 7.7%. All patients had an R0-resection. The pathological complete response rate was 25%, and an additional 36.5% had less than 10% vital residual tumour cells. At a median follow-up of 23.2 months, the median survival time has not yet been reached. The probability of disease-free survival after 30 months was 60%. In conclusion, weekly neoadjuvant paclitaxel and carboplatin with concurrent radiotherapy is a very tolerable regimen and can be given on an outpatient basis. It achieves considerable down staging and a subsequent 100% radical resection rate in this series. A phase III trial with this regimen is now ongoing.

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British Journal of Cancer
Department of Pathology

van Meerten, E, Muller, K, Tilanus, H.W, Siersema, P.D, Eijkenboom, W.M.H, van Dekken, H, … van der Gaast, A. (2006). Neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiation with weekly paclitaxel and carboplatin for patients with oesophageal cancer: A phase II study. British Journal of Cancer, 94(10), 1389–1394. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603134