Toxicity, response rates and survival outcomes of induction cisplatin and irinotecan followed by concurrent cisplatin, irinotecan and radiotherapy for locally advanced esophageal cancer

Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2011 Mar;41(3):334-42. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyq208. Epub 2010 Nov 17.


Objective: Cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy is standard treatment for locally advanced esophageal and gastroesophageal cancers; however, the optimal chemotherapy regimen remains to be defined.

Methods: Retrospective single institution analysis of toxicities, response rates and survival outcomes in patients with cT3-4 or N1/M1a esophageal squamous cell or adenocarcinoma treated with induction cisplatin and irinotecan followed by concurrent cisplatin, irinotecan and radiotherapy. Secondary analysis for association of disease control and outcomes with demographic, tumor and treatment factors (including histology).

Results: Fifty-three patients were eligible for the present analysis. All patients underwent endoscopic ultrasonography and were either cT3-4 and/or cN1 disease. Fifty patients completed radiotherapy as planned (median dose 50.4 Gy, range 0-61.2), and 35 patients completed four cycles of chemotherapy as planned (range 1-4). Severe acute toxicities included Grade ≥ 3 neutropenia and esophagitis in 13 and 12 patients, respectively. There were no Grade 5 (fatal) toxicities noted. At mean survivor follow-up of 24.5 months (range 2.7-63), 17 patients were alive (8 without disease) and 36 deceased. Forty patients experienced disease recurrence, with initial loco-regional, distant or both failures in 28, 9 and 3 patients, respectively. Estimated 2-year overall survival and freedom from failure were 42 and 9%, respectively, without significant difference by histology.

Conclusions: Cisplatin/irinotecan chemoradiotherapy is tolerable, demonstrating similar efficacy for squamous cell and adenocarcinoma esophageal cancers.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Camptothecin / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Esophagitis / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Irinotecan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neutropenia / chemically induced
  • Radiotherapy*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Irinotecan
  • Cisplatin
  • Camptothecin