Randomized Phase 2 Trial of S1 and Oxaliplatin-Based Chemoradiotherapy With or Without Induction Chemotherapy for Esophageal Cancer


      To assess, in a randomized, phase 2 trial, the efficacy and safety of chemoradiotherapy with or without induction chemotherapy (ICT) of S1 and oxaliplatin for esophageal cancer.

      Patients and Methods

      Patients with stage II, III, or IVA esophageal cancer were randomly allocated to either 2 cycles of ICT (oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 on day 1 and S1 at 40 mg/m2 twice daily on days 1-14, every 3 weeks) followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) (46 Gy, 2 Gy/d with oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 on days 1 and 21 and S1 30 mg/m2 twice daily, 5 days per week during radiation therapy) and esophagectomy (arm A), or the same CCRT followed by esophagectomy without ICT (arm B). The primary endpoint was the pathologic complete response (pCR) rate.


      A total of 97 patients were randomized (arm A/B, 47/50), 70 of whom underwent esophagectomy (arm A/B, 34/36). The intention-to-treat pCR rate was 23.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 11.2-35.6%) in arm A and 38% (95% CI 24.5% to 51.5%) in arm B. With a median follow-up duration of 30.3 months, the 2-year progression-free survival rate was 58.4% in arm A and 58.6% in arm B, whereas the 2-year overall survival rate was 60.7% and 63.7%, respectively. Grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia during CCRT was more common in arm A than in arm B (35.4% vs 4.1%). The relative dose intensity of S1 (89.5% ± 20.6% vs 98.3% ± 5.2%, P=.005) and oxaliplatin (91.4% ± 16.8% vs 99.0% ± 4.2%, P=.007) during CCRT was lower in arm A compared with arm B. Three patients in arm A, compared with none in arm B, died within 90 days after surgery.


      Combination chemotherapy of S1 and oxaliplatin is an effective chemoradiotherapy regimen to treat esophageal cancer. However, we failed to show that the addition of ICT to the regimen can improve the pCR rate.
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