1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou China;
2. Key Laboratory of Radiation Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou 310022, China.
# All authors contributed equally to this work.
Purpose: To retrospectively compare taxane-based with fluorouracil-based chemoradiotherapy in terms of toxicity profiles, efficacy and survival in patients with inoperable esophageal cancer.
Methods and Materials: We analyzed retrospectively 179 consecutive patients who were unresectable or medically unfit for surgery between March 2009 and November 2014. Eight-three patients were included in the taxane group and 96 cases were in the fluorouracil group.
Results: The overall response rate (ORR) in the taxane group was higher than fluorouracil group, but was not significantly different (71.6% vs. 63.5%, respectively, P=0.255). In total, 53.0% (44/83) of the patients in the taxane group had progressive disease versus 54.2% (52/96) in the fluorouracil group (not significantly different (P=0.758)). There was no significant difference in overall response rate, progression free survival and overall survival, as well as treatment-related death. In terms of non-hematological toxicity, patients in the taxane group experienced a lower incidence of ≥ grade 3 esophageal perforation or fistula (4.8% vs. 13.5%, P=0.047) and pneumonia (4.8% vs. 9.7%, P=0.242). Regarding hematological toxicity, thrombocytopenia in the taxane group was significantly lower (4.8% vs. 13.5%, P=0.047), but there was a trend towards a higher rate of ≥ grade 3 leukopenia (34.9% vs.26.0%, P=0.196).
Conclusions: Chemoradiation with taxane-based regimens is well tolerated, with potentially promising efficacy, and could become a good alternative treatment in a first line setting for patients with inoperable esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Keywords: esophageal cancer, chemoradiotherapy, taxane, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma