Aim: To investigate the efficacy and side effects of the combined therapy of oxaliplatin and capecitabine in patients with metastatic esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC) and the survival of the patients.
Methods: Sixty-four patients (median age of 63 years) with histological or cytological confirmation of ESCC received oxaliplatin 120 mg/m(2) intravenously on day 1 and capecitabine 1000 mg/m(2) orally twice daily on days 1 to 14 in a 21-d treatment cycle as palliative chemotherapy. Each patient received at least two cycles of treatment. The efficacy, side effects and patient survival were evaluated.
Results: The partial response (PR) rate was 43.8% (28/64). Stable disease (SD) rate was 47.9% (26/64), and disease progression rate was 15.6% (10/64). The clinical benefit rate (PR + SD) was 84.4%. The main toxicities were leukopenia (50.0%), nausea and vomiting (51.6%), diarrhea (50.0%), stomatitis (39.1%), polyneuropathy (37.5%) and hand-foot syndrome (37.5%). No grade 4 event in the entire cohort was found. The median progression-free survival was 4 mo, median overall survival was 10 mo (95% CI: 8.3-11.7 mo), and the 1- and 2-year survival rates were 38.1% and 8.2%, respectively. High Karnofsky index, single metastatic lesion and response to the regimen indicated respectively good prognosis.
Conclusion: Oxaliplatin plus capecitabine regimen is effective and tolerable in metastatic ESCC patients. The regimen has improved the survival moderately and merits further studies.