Combined modality radiotherapy and chemotherapy in nonsurgical management of localized carcinoma of the esophagus
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PURPOSE: To make recommendations regarding combined radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy (RTCT), compared with RT alone, when a nonsurgical approach is used for patients with localized esophageal carcinoma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The Medline, Cancerlit, Cochrane Library databases, and abstracts published in the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology proceedings were searched for evidence. Evidence was evaluated by two members of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Disease Site Group and methodologists. RESULTS: Pooling seven randomized trials detected a statistically significant survival benefit at 1 year for concomitant RTCT compared with RT alone (1-year mortality odds ratio 0.61; 95% confidence interval 0.44-0.84; p <0.00001). Local control also significantly improved with concomitant RTCT compared with RT alone for the available data (odds ratio 0.52; 95% confidence interval 0.31-0.89; p = 0.004), but a significant increase in adverse effects, including life-threatening toxicities, was shown. CONCLUSIONS: Concomitant RT and cisplatin-based CT is recommended over RT alone. Patients should be aware of the increased acute toxicity associated with this approach, and this recommendation should only be made after consideration of the potential risks and benefits and the patient's general condition. Sequential RTCT is not recommended as standard practice.
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