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1.  Chemotherapy followed by surgery versus surgery alone in patients with resectable oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma: Long-term results of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:181.
This is a randomized, controlled trial of preoperative chemotherapy in patients undergoing surgery for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Patients were allocated to chemotherapy, consisting of 2-4 cycles of cisplatin and etoposide, followed by surgery (CS group) or surgery alone (S group). Initial results reported only in abstract form in 1997, demonstrated an advantage for overall survival in the CS group. The results of this trial have been updated and discussed in the timeframe in which this study was performed.
This trial recruited 169 patients with OSCC, 85 patients assigned to preoperative chemotherapy and 84 patients underwent immediate surgery. The primary study endpoint was overall survival (OS), secondary endpoints were disease free survival (DFS) and pattern of failure. Survival has been determined from Kaplan-Meier curves and treatment comparisons made with the log-rank test.
There were 148 deaths, 71 in the CS and 77 in the S group. Median OS time was 16 months in the CS group compared with 12 months in the S group; 2-year survival rates were 42% and 30%; and 5-year survival rates were 26% and 17%, respectively. Intention to treat analysis showed a significant overall survival benefit for patients in the CS group (P = 0.03, by the log-rank test; hazard ratio [HR] 0.71; 95%CI 0.51-0.98). DFS (from landmark time of 6 months after date of randomisation) was also better in the CS-group than in the S group (P = 0.02, by the log-rank test; HR 0.72; 95%CI 0.52-1.0). No difference in failure pattern was observed between both treatment arms.
Preoperative chemotherapy with a combination of etoposide and cisplatin significantly improved overall survival in patients with OSCC.
PMCID: PMC3123658  PMID: 21595951
2.  Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy for Esophageal Cancer: A Review of Meta-Analyses 
World Journal of Surgery  2009;33(12):2606-2614.
Most randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that have compared neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by surgery with surgery alone for locally advanced esophageal cancer have shown no difference in survival between the two treatments. Meta-analyses on neoadjuvant chemoradiation in esophageal cancer, however, are discordant.
For the present study, published meta-analyses on neoadjuvant chemoradiation for esophageal cancer were identified from the PubMed database and critically appraised in order to make a judgment on the applicability of neoadjuvant chemoradiation in clinical practice and decision making.
Two of the six meta-analyses examined did not show a significant survival benefit in patients with resectable esophageal cancer. Differences in the studies included and statistical methods applied might account for this. Moreover, there was heterogeneity between the RCTs included in the meta-analyses with regard to the patients included, tumor histology, and radiotherapy and chemotherapy regimes. Also, surgical technique was not uniform. No data on individual patients were available for most meta-analyses. The RCTs included in the meta-analyses were of inadequate sample size. All were started in the nineties, and hence methods for diagnosis, staging, treatment delivery, and outcome measurement reflect clinical practice during that decade.
The current data on neoadjuvant chemoradiation for esophageal cancer strongly indicate the need for designing future high-quality trials that will contribute to a better understanding of the role of neoadjuvant treatment for resectable cancer of the esophagus and help to identify patient subgroups that would benefit most.
PMCID: PMC2840665  PMID: 19760309
3.  Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis: pharmacokinetics and clinical outcome of paclitaxel and carboplatin treatment 
Administration of chemotherapy in patients with renal failure, treated with hemodialysis or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is still a challenge and literature data is scarce. Here we present a case study of a patient on CAPD, treated with weekly and three-weekly paclitaxel/carboplatin for recurrent ovarian cancer.
During the first, second and ninth cycle of treatment, blood, urine and CAPD samples were collected for pharmacokinetic analysis of paclitaxel and total and unbound carboplatin-derived platinum.
Treatment was well tolerated by the patient. No excessive toxicity was observed and at the end of treatment she was in a complete remission. The plasma pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel were unaltered compared to historical data, with neglectable urinary and CAPD clearance. In contrast, the pharmacokinetics of carboplatin were altered, with doubled half-lives compared to patients with normal renal function. Of the administered carboplatin dose, up to 20% was cleared via the dialysate, while only up to 8% was cleared via the urine.
Paclitaxel and carboplatin can be safely administered to patients with chronic renal failure on CAPD. For paclitaxel the generally applied dose can be administered, and although for carboplatin dose-adjustment is required due to the diminished renal function, the dose can be calculated using Calvert’s formula.
PMCID: PMC2516550  PMID: 18204842
CAPD; Paclitaxel; Carboplatin; Pharmacokinetic; Ovarian cancer
4.  NEOadjuvant therapy monitoring with PET and CT in Esophageal Cancer (NEOPEC-trial) 
Surgical resection is the preferred treatment of potentially curable esophageal cancer. To improve long term patient outcome, many institutes apply neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. In a large proportion of patients no response to chemoradiotherapy is achieved. These patients suffer from toxic and ineffective neoadjuvant treatment, while appropriate surgical therapy is delayed. For this reason a diagnostic test that allows for accurate prediction of tumor response early during chemoradiotherapy is of crucial importance. CT-scan and endoscopic ultrasound have limited accuracy in predicting histopathologic tumor response. Data suggest that metabolic changes in tumor tissue as measured by FDG-PET predict response better. This study aims to compare FDG-PET and CT-scan for the early prediction of non-response to preoperative chemoradiotherapy in patients with potentially curable esophageal cancer.
Prognostic accuracy study, embedded in a randomized multicenter Dutch trial comparing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy for 5 weeks followed by surgery versus surgery alone for esophageal cancer. This prognostic accuracy study is performed only in the neoadjuvant arm of the randomized trial. In 6 centers, 150 consecutive patients will be included over a 3 year period. FDG-PET and CT-scan will be performed before and 2 weeks after the start of the chemoradiotherapy. All patients complete the 5 weeks regimen of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, regardless the test results. Pathological examination of the surgical resection specimen will be used as reference standard. Responders are defined as patients with < 10% viable residual tumor cells (Mandard-score).
Difference in accuracy (area under ROC curve) and negative predictive value between FDG-PET and CT-scan are primary endpoints. Furthermore, an economic evaluation will be performed, comparing survival and costs associated with the use of FDG-PET (or CT-scan) to predict tumor response with survival and costs of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy without prediction of response (reference strategy).
The NEOPEC-trial could be the first sufficiently powered study that helps justify implementation of FDG-PET for response-monitoring in patients with esophageal cancer in clinical practice.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3301128  PMID: 18671847

Results 1-4 (4)