Purpose: To analyse the treatment results of neo-adjuvant chemoradiation combined with regional hyperthermia in patients with resectable esophageal cancer.
Patients and methods: Between August 2003 and December 2004, 28 patients entered a phase II study combining chemoradiation over a 4.5-week period with five sessions of regional hyperthermia. Chemotherapy consisted of carboplatin (AUC = 2) and paclitaxel (50 mg/m(2)) and radiotherapy of 41.4 Gy in 1.8 Gy daily fractions. Locoregional hyperthermia was applied using the AMC phased array of four 70 MHz antennas, aiming at a stable tumor temperature of 41 degrees C for one hour. Carboplatin was infused during the hyperthermia session. Esophageal resection was planned at 6-8 weeks after the end of radiotherapy. The majority of the patients had a T3 tumor (86%) and were cN+ (64%). Median follow-up for survivors was 37 months (range 31-46).
Results: Twenty-five patients (89%) completed the planned neo-adjuvant treatment and acute toxicity was generally mild. Twenty-six patients were operated on. A pathologically CR, PRmic, PR and SD were seen in 19%, 27%, 31% and 23% respectively. All patients had a R0 resection. In-field locoregional control during follow up for the operated patients was 100%. Quality of life was good for patients without disease progression. Survival rates at one, two and three years were 79%, 57% and 54% respectively.
Conclusion: Neo-adjuvant chemoradiation combined with regional hyperthermia followed by esophageal resection for patients with esophageal cancer resulted in good locoregional control and overall survival.