Chemoradiotherapy of esophageal carcinoma

Elizabeth A. Poplin, Parvinderjit S. Khanuja, Micheal J. Kraut, Arnold M. Herskovic, Paul B. Lattin, Glenn Cummings, Laura E. Gaspar, Joseph L. Kinzie, Zwi Steiger, Vainutis K. Vaitkevicius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background. Chemoradiotherapy has demonstrated efficacy in esophageal cancer but rarely is curative. To improve local control and decrease metastases, a 7‐month regimen was used with standard‐dose radiotherapy (RT), cisplatin (DDP), and continuous infusion (CI) 5‐fluorouracil (5‐FU) in patients with locoregional squamous/adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Methods. Initial treatment consisted of RT to the esophagus (4000‐5000 cGy) for 5‐6 weeks, CI 5‐FU (300 mg/m2/day) concurrent with RT, and DDP (25 mg/m2/ day × 3) for Days 1‐3 and 21‐23. Two monthly cycles of DDP (75 mg/m2 Day 1) and 5‐FU (300 mg/m2 × 21 days) followed. Patients were restaged with endoscopy and computed tomography scan. Patients without evidence of residual disease received three more cycles of chemotherapy (CT); those with persistent tumor underwent esophagectomy or additional CT/RT, and those with disease progression were offered alternative CT. Results. From December 1987 to September 1991, 18 men and 8 women, including 2 with adenocarcinoma, were eligible for inclusion in the study. All were evaluable for toxicity and response. The median age was 61.5 years (range, 50‐80 years), the median pretreatment weight loss was 9 lbs, and the median serum albumin level was 4.3 mg%. Therapy was toxic; 19 patients were hospitalized for treatment‐related esophagitis, thrombosis, or infection. Grade III and IV leucopenia were seen in 12 patients and 1 patient, respectively. One patient had Grade IV thrombocytopenia. Of 26 patients, 17 (65%) had no tumor on restaging. Five patients had recurrences in the esophagus (1), liver (3), and lung (2). Three patients had second neoplasms. The median survival was 24 months. Conclusion. This treatment regimen provides high frequency of local tumor resolution, but with significant toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1217-1224
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • chemoradiotherapy
  • esophageal cancer

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