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Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (DCF-RT) for locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma



To further improve the prognosis of esophageal cancer patients, it is necessary to investigate new treatment strategies. The purposes of this study were to retrospectively assess the safety and efficacy of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) with docetaxel/cisplatin/5-fluorouracil (DCF) (DCF-RT) in patients with thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).


We reviewed 30 thoracic ESCC patients who underwent neoadjuvant DCF-RT followed by esophagectomy, and evaluated the safety and efficacy of DCF-RT. DCF-RT consisted of 40 Gy radiation with two courses of intravenous DCF (docetaxel, 30 mg/m2/day, day 1; cisplatin, 7 mg/m2/day, day 1; 5-FU, 350 mg/m2/day, days 1–5 and days 8–12) repeated every 2 weeks. Esophagectomy was scheduled 8–10 weeks after completion of DCF-RT.


Twenty-nine of thirty patients completed radiotherapy; however, 27 of 30 patients required dose reduction of the second cycle of DCF. Complete response (CR), partial response, and stable disease were observed in 7, 11, and 10 patients, respectively. The number of lymph node metastases after DCF-RT was significantly lower than that before DCF-RT (P < 0.0001). Among the 30 patients, pathological CR (pCR) in the primary tumor was observed in 17 patients, and pCRs in both the primary tumor and lymph nodes were observed in 14 patients. The 3-year overall survival rate was 62.2%, and that of patients who experienced pCR was 84%.


Neoadjuvant DCF-RT was tolerable and yielded a high pCR rate in ESCC. Therefore, neoadjuvant DCF-RT may confer a survival benefit and may be a candidate neoadjuvant therapy regimen for patients with locally advanced thoracic ESCC.

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This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant number 17K10706.

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Correspondence to Ken Sasaki.

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Sasaki, K., Uchikado, Y., Omoto, I. et al. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy with docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (DCF-RT) for locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 83, 581–587 (2019).

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  • Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
  • Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy
  • Docetaxel
  • Cisplatin
  • 5-Fluorouracil