Background:The standard treatment for locally advanced unresectable squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oesophagus is chemoradiation with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (CF-RT). This multicentre phase II trial assessed the safety and efficacy of chemoselection with docetaxel plus cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (DCF) induction chemotherapy (ICT) and subsequent conversion surgery (CS) for initially unresectable locally advanced SCC of the oesophagus.Methods:Patients with clinical T4 and/or unresectable supraclavicular lymph node metastasis were eligible. Treatment started with three cycles of DCF-ICT, followed by CS if resectable, or by CF-RT if unresectable. The resectability was re-evaluated at 30-40 Gy of CF-RT, followed by CS if resectable, or by completion of 60 Gy of CF-RT. If resectable after CF-RT, CS was performed. The primary end point was 1-year overall survival (OS).Results:From April 2013 to July 2014, 48 patients were enrolled. CS was performed in 41.7% (n=20), including DCF-CS (n=18), DCF-CF-RT40Gy-CS (n=1), and DCF-CF-RT60Gy-CS (n=1). R0 resection was confirmed in 19 patients (39.6%). Grade ≥3 postoperative complications included one event each of recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, lung infection, wound infection, pulmonary fistula, and dysphagia; but no serious postoperative complications were observed in patients undergoing CS. Clinical complete response after CF-RT was confirmed in 4 patients (8.3%). The estimated 1-year OS was 67.9% and lower limit of 80% confidence interval was 59.7%. There was one treatment-related death in patient receiving DCF-CF-RT60Gy.Conclusions:Chemoselection with DCF-ICT followed by CS as a multidisciplinary treatment strategy showed promising signs of tolerability and efficacy in patients with locally advanced unresectable SCC of the oesophagus.
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