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Type: Journal article
Title: Palliative chemoradiotherapy versus radiotherapy alone for dysphagia in advanced oesophageal cancer: a multicentre randomised controlled trial (TROG 03.01)
Author: Penniment, M.
De Ieso, P.
Harvey, J.
Stephens, S.
Au, H.
O'Callaghan, C.
Kneebone, A.
Ngan, S.
Ward, I.
Roy, R.
Smith, J.
Nijjar, T.
Biagi, J.
Mulroy, L.
Wong, R.
Citation: The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2018; 3(2):114-124
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 2468-1253
Statement of
Michael G Penniment, Paolo B De Ieso, Jennifer A Harvey, Sonya Stephens, Heather-Jane Au, Christopher J O'Callaghan ... et al.
Abstract: A short course of radiotherapy is commonly prescribed for palliative relief of malignant dysphagia in patients with incurable oesophageal cancer. We compared chemoradiotherapy with radiotherapy alone for dysphagia relief in the palliative setting.This multicentre randomised controlled trial included patients with advanced or metastatic oesophageal cancer who were randomly assigned (1:1) through a computer-generated adaptive biased coin design to either palliative chemoradiotherapy or radiotherapy alone for treatment of malignant dysphagia at 22 hospitals in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. Eligible patients had biopsy-proven oesophageal cancer that was unsuitable for curative treatment, symptomatic dysphagia, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-2, and adequate haematological and renal function. Patients were stratified by hospital, dysphagia score (Mellow scale 1-4), and presence of metastases. The radiotherapy dose was 35 Gy in 15 fractions over 3 weeks for patients in Australia and New Zealand and 30 Gy in ten fractions over 2 weeks for patients in Canada and the UK. Chemotherapy consisted of one cycle of intravenous cisplatin (either 80 mg/m2 on day 1 or 20 mg/m2 per day on days 1-4 of radiotherapy at clinician's discretion) and intravenous fluorouracil 800 mg/m2 per day on days 1-4 of radiotherapy in week 1. Patients were assessed weekly during treatment. The primary endpoint was dysphagia relief (defined as ≥1 point reduction on the Mellow scale at 9 weeks and maintained 4 weeks later), and key secondary endpoints were dysphagia progression-free survival (defined as a worsening of at least 1 point on the Mellow scale from baseline or best response) and overall survival. These endpoints were analysed in the intention-to-treat population. This study is registered at, number NCT00193882. This trial is closed.Between July 7, 2003, and March 21, 2012, 111 patients were randomly assigned to chemoradiotherapy and 109 patients to radiotherapy. One patient in the chemoradiotherapy group was omitted from analysis because of ineligibility. 50 (45%, 95% CI 36-55) patients in the chemoradiotherapy group and 38 (35%, 26-44) in the radiotherapy group obtained dysphagia relief (difference 10·6%, 95% CI -2 to 23; p=0·13). Median dysphagia progression-free survival was 4·1 months (95% CI 3·5-4·8) versus 3·4 months (3·1-4·3) in the chemoradiotherapy and radiotherapy groups, respectively (p=0·58), and median overall survival was 6·9 months (95% CI 5·1-8·3) versus 6·7 months (4·9-8·0), respectively (p=0·88). Of the 211 patients who commenced radiotherapy, grade 3-4 acute toxicity occurred in 38 (36%) patients in the chemoradiotherapy group and in 17 (16%) patients in the radiotherapy group (p=0·0017). Anaemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, oesophagitis, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, and mucositis were significantly worse in patients who had chemoradiotherapy than in patients who had radiotherapy.Palliative chemoradiotherapy showed a modest, but not statistically significant, increase in dysphagia relief compared with radiotherapy alone, with minimal improvement in dysphagia progression-free survival and overall survival with chemoradiotherapy but at a cost of increased toxicity. A short course of radiotherapy alone should be considered a safe and well tolerated treatment for malignant dysphagia in the palliative setting.National Health and Medical Research Council, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Trans Tasman Radiation Oncology Group, and Cancer Australia.
Keywords: TROG 03.01/CCTG ES.2 group
Rights: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030095556
DOI: 10.1016/S2468-1253(17)30363-1
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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