Thirty-six patients with adenocarcinomas or epidermoid carcinoma of the esophagus were entered into a phase II trial evaluating the combination of cisplatin 100 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) day 2, vinblastine 1.6 mg/m2 IV days 1 to 4, and mitoguazone (MGBG) 500 mg/m2 IV days 1 and 8. Twenty-nine patients (group A) were newly diagnosed with local-regional disease only and were candidates for transhiatal esophagectomy (THE). These patients received two courses of chemotherapy at 3-week intervals prior to surgery. Response was assessed by measuring changes in the primary tumor length and depth on serial biphasic contrast esophagrams and comparing this result with tumor measurements obtained from the surgical specimen. Complete (CR) and partial responders (PR) received three additional postoperative cycles. Seven patients had recurrent or metastatic disease (group B) and were treated every 4 weeks until disease progression. Of 34 patients evaluable for response, there was one pathologically confirmed CR and 15 PRs (47%). This consisted of 12 of 27 (44%) group A patients (seven of 11 epidermoid, five of 16 adenocarcinoma) and four of seven (57%) group B patients (two of four epidermoid, two of three adenocarcinoma). Toxicity included leukopenia in one third of treatment courses and thrombocytopenia in 21%. Nausea and vomiting occurred in 60% of patients, diarrhea in 18%, transient nephrotoxicity in 18%, peripheral neuropathy in 12%, and ototoxicity in 3%. Twenty-five group A patients underwent resection. Four chemotherapy nonresponders (NR) and one PR had known disease left at surgery; all others (80%) had gross total removal of their disease. The median survival time (MST) of the 29 group A patients was 14 months, with 21% alive at 36 months. The MST of group A chemotherapy responders was 15 months compared with 9 months for NRs (P = .032). Initial sites of recurrence in 14 patients were local-regional in six, distant only in six, both local-regional and distant in two. This regimen, administered in maximally tolerated doses, was active epidermoid and adenocarcinoma histologies, recurrent disease and newly diagnosed patients. However, nearly all responses were PRs and the MST of resected patients treated was similar to a prior series of patients with esophagectomy alone. Observations from this pilot trial and those of others have led to a follow-up study, in progress, evaluating intensive preoperative chemotherapy and concurrent radiation therapy (RT).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research