Open Access Research article

Acute toxicity of definitive chemoradiation in patients with inoperable or irresectable esophageal carcinoma

Nadia Haj Mohammad1*, Maarten CCM Hulshof2, Jacques JGHM Bergman3, Debby Geijsen2, Johanna W Wilmink1, Mark I van Berge Henegouwen4 and Hanneke WM van Laarhoven1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

3 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

4 Department of Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:56  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-56

Published: 31 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Definitive chemoradiation (dCRT) is considered curative intent treatment for patients with inoperable or irresectable esophageal cancer. Acute toxicity data focussing on dCRT are lacking.

Methods

A retrospective analysis of patients treated with dCRT consisting of 6 cycles of paclitaxel 50 mg/m2 and carboplatin AUC2 concomitant with radiotherapy (50.4 Gy\1.8Gy) from 2006 through 2011 at a single tertiary center was performed. Toxicity, hospital admissions and survival were analysed.

Results

127 patients were treated with definitive chemoradiation. 33 patients were medically inoperable, 94 patients were irresectable, Despite of a significantly smaller tumor length in inoperable patients grade ≥3 toxicity was significantly recorded more often in the inoperable patients (44%) than in irresectable patients (20%) (p < 0.05) Hospital admission occurred more often in the inoperable patients (39%) than in the irresectable patients (22%) (p < 0.05) Median number of cycles of chemotherapy was five for inoperable patients (p = 0.01), while six cycles could be administered to patients with irresectable disease. Recurrence and survival were not significantly different. The odds ratio for developing toxicity ≥ grade 3 was 2.6 (95% CI 1.0-6.4 p < 0.05) for being an inoperable patient and 1.2 (95% CI 1.0-1.4 p = 0.02) per 10 extra micromol/l creatinine.

Conclusions

Our data show that acute toxicity of definitive chemoradiation is worse in patients with medically inoperable esophageal carcinoma compared to patients with irresectable esophageal cancer and mainly occurs in the 5th cycle of treatment. Improvement of supportive care should be undertaken in this more fragile group.

Keywords:
Definitive chemoradiation; Esophageal cancer; Inoperable; Irresectable; Toxicity