We investigated long-term treatment outcomes and the feasibility of chemoradiotherapy consisting of daily-low-dose 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin (LDFP) chemotherapy plus radiotherapy for Stage I-II squamous cell esophageal cancer. Treatment records from the 2000 through 2008 period were reviewed retrospectively. Fractionated radiotherapy was performed with a total dose of 60 Gy delivered in 2 Gy per fraction. LDFP chemotherapy, as continuous infusion of 200 mg/m2 5-fluorouracil combined with one hour infusion of 4 mg/m2 cisplatin, was administered on the same days as radiotherapy. Survival was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Survival, responses, failure patterns, and toxicities were evaluated. Seventy-six (47 stage I and 29 stage II) patients were analyzed with a median follow-up of 93.6 months. The 8-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and cause-specific survival (CSS) rates were 63.4%, 49.8%, and 76.7%, respectively. The 8-year OS, PFS, and CSS for stage I and stage II patients were 71.0%/56.1%/82.9% and 45.2%/40.2%/66.6%, respectively. Sixty-eight patients (89.5%) completed the treatment regimen. A complete response (CR) was achieved in 68 patients (89.5%). Twenty-five patients (36.8%) experienced recurrence after CR. The failure patterns were (overlap included): local failure (n = 12), nodal metastasis (n = 12), distant metastasis (n = 3), details unknown (n = 2). Salvage therapy was performed for local failure; endoscopic therapy (n = 7) or surgery (n = 2). Six patients remain alive without relapse after salvage endoscopic therapy. Major Grade 3 or higher acute adverse events were leukopenia (22%), anorexia (17%), and esophagitis (11%). Major late toxicities (Grade 3 or 4) involved pericardial effusion (12%), pleural effusion (4%), and esophageal stenosis (3%). Chemoradiotherapy with LDFP provided favorable long-term survival with acceptable toxicity for Stage I-II squamous cell esophageal cancer. The tumor response was excellent, but close endoscopic follow-up is essential for detecting and treating local recurrence.
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