The improvement of survival outcomes and the reduction of toxicities for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are still needed. We conducted a pilot study of concurrent chemoradiotherapy with weekly docetaxel and cisplatin for the treatment of esophageal SCC with T4 and/or M1 lymph node metastasis (LNM) or locoregional recurrence.
Fifty-four patients with advanced thoracic esophageal SCC having a stage T4 tumor or M1 LNM and/or locoregional recurrence were enrolled. Docetaxel and cisplatin were both administered weekly at a dose of 25 mg/m 5-6 times in total concurrently with a specific dose of radiation. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS), and the secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS), locoregional control and treatment-related toxicities.
From October 2015 to December 2016, concurrent treatment with full-cycle docetaxel and cisplatin and radiotherapy was administered to 41 of 54 patients (75.9%). A total of 51 patients (94.4%) completed the radiation schedules. Twenty-one patients (44.4%) achieved a complete response, and 21 (44.4%) achieved a partial response after chemoradiotherapy. The median survival time was 18.2 months, and the median PFS time was 11.5 months. The 1-year and 3-year OS, locoregional control and PFS rates were 70.4, 80.6, 50.0 and 36.4%, 64.3, 31.5%, respectively. Grade 3 toxicities included neutropenia (13.0%), anemia (3.7%), thrombocytopenia (1.9%), fatigue (20.4%), anorexia (13.0%), esophagitis (11.1%), and pneumonitis (5.6%). Grade 4 neutropenia occurred in 16.7% of patients. Four patients (7.4%) died from grade 5 toxicities. There were no significant differences in both survival and grade 3 and higher toxicities between the newly diagnosed group and recurrent group.
Concurrent chemoradiotherapy with weekly docetaxel and cisplatin is a well-tolerated and effective treatment regimen for esophageal SCC with T4 or M1 LNM and/or locoregional recurrence. Clinical trials with larger sample size and comparisons with conventional fluorouracil and cisplatin regimens are needed.