Metronomic weekly paclitaxel in advanced unresectable esophageal cancer.


CONTEXT Advanced esophageal cancer is aggressive with an expected median survival of 6-7 months. Combination chemotherapy regimens provide effective palliation, but result in substantial toxicity. MATERIALS AND METHODS Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data of patients with advanced esophageal cancer, not amenable to definitive intent therapy who were treated with intravenous weekly paclitaxel. RESULTS Between October 2010 and August 2011, 51 patients were included. Median age was 56 years, with a male: female ratio of 2.9:1. 29% were mid esophageal and 55% were lower third and gastroesophageal junction tumors. 65% of the tumors had squamous histology. Performance status was > 2 in 45%. 61% patients had received prior therapy, either definitive or palliative. 51% patients were platinum-pre-treated and 29% had received prior 3 weekly paclitaxel. 76% patients had distant metastases. Median number of cycles of weekly paclitaxel delivered was 11. 71% of patients had improvement in dysphagia, with a median time to symptom improvement of 9 days. In 72% patients, the feeding nasogastric tube could be removed. Overall response rate was 49% (complete remission: 4%, partial remission: 45%, stable disease: 13%). Median progression free survival was 4.7 months (confidence interval [95% CI: 3.7-5.7 months]) and median overall survival was 7.5 months (95% CI: 3.1-11.8 months). Histopathology, performance status and pre-treatment albumin significantly affected survival. The most common grade 3/4 toxicities included hyponatremia (14%), fatigue (16%), diarrhea (12%), anemia (31%), neutropenia (10%) and febrile neutropenia (4%). CONCLUSIONS Metronomic weekly paclitaxel chemotherapy may provide palliative benefit in advanced unresectable metastatic esophageal cancer with minimal toxicity.

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.117020

Cite this paper

@article{Noronha2013MetronomicWP, title={Metronomic weekly paclitaxel in advanced unresectable esophageal cancer.}, author={Vanita Noronha and Vaishali M. Patil and Bharatsingh Bhosale and Amita S Joshi and Nilendu Chandrakant Purandare and Kumar Prabhash}, journal={Indian journal of cancer}, year={2013}, volume={50 2}, pages={128-34} }