Article Abstract

Adjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel and cisplatin in lymph node-positive thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Authors: Liangze Zhang, Weiwei Li, Xiao Lyu, Yan Song, Yousheng Mao, Shaoming Wang, Jing Huang


Objective: No standard postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy has ever been established in node-positive esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). This is a study to explore the effect of postoperative paclitaxel (PTX) and cisplatin (DDP) in lymph node-positive, completely resected thoracic ESCC patients.
Methods: We conducted a prospective phase II trial. Patients had pathologically node-positive thoracic ESCC with negative margins. Outcomes of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared with a matched historical control cohort. The postoperative chemotherapy regimen consisted of 4 to 6 cycles of PTX 150 mg/m2 administered intravenously on d 1 followed by DDP 50 mg/m2 on d 2 every 14 d.
Results: Forty-three patients were accrued from December 2007 to May 2012 at Cancer Hospital of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences for adjuvant chemotherapy. The historical control group consisted of 80 patients who received complete resection but no adjuvant chemotherapy during the same period of time. Of the 43 patients with adjuvant chemotherapy, 37 (86.0%) patients completed 4 to 6 cycles of chemotherapy. The 3-year DFS rates were 56.3% in the adjuvant group and 34.6% in the control group (P=0.006). The 3-year OS rates were 55.0% in the adjuvant group and 37.5% in the control group (P=0.013). Multivariate analysis revealed that postoperative chemotherapy was the significant predictor for improved OS (P=0.005).
Conclusions: Biweekly adjuvant PTX and DDP might improve 3-year DFS and OS in lymph node-positive, curatively resected thoracic ESCC patients. These conclusions warrant further study in randomized phase III clinical trials.

Keywords: Esophageal cancer; adjuvant chemotherapy; surgery; paclitaxel; cisplatin