Taxotere Alone for Esophageal Cancer – pro

Docetaxel, a taxane that promotes polymerization of tubules and inhibits depolymerization of microtubules, has shown in vitro and in vivo antitumor effects on human gastric cell lines and gastric cancer xenografts. These antitumor effects have led to the evaluation of docetaxel as a single agent and in combination with other agents and modalities in patients with esophageal cancer. it does have some anti-cancer effects in various studies, with or without other drugs in combination. In a 2005 study(rigas et al), thirty-six patients had received prior platinum-based chemotherapy. The majority of patients (94%) had squamous cell carcinoma. Ten of 49 evaluable patients [20%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 10–34%] showed a partial response. Of the 10 partial responses, six patients had received prior platinum-based chemotherapy. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was noted in 43 of 49 patients (88%), and nine of 49 patients (18%) developed febrile neutropenia. Twenty-eight of 49 patients (57%) required lenograstim. Grade 3 anorexia and fatigue occurred in nine (18%) and six (12%) patients, respectively. Median survival time was 8.1 months (95% CI 6.6–11.3) and the 1-year survival rate was 35% (95% CI 21–48%).  Other studies show similar results.

Cunningham, David, Starling, Naureen, Rao, Sheela, Iveson, Timothy, Nicolson, Marianne, Coxon, Fareeda, Middleton, Gary, Daniel, Francis, Oates, Jacqueline, Norman, Andrew Richard, the Upper Gastrointestinal Clinical Studies Group of the National Cancer Research Institute of the United Kingdom, Capecitabine and Oxaliplatin for Advanced Esophagogastric Cancer N Engl J Med 2008 358: 36-46

Rigas JR, Dragnev KH, Bubis JA.  Docetaxel in the treatment of esophageal cancer.Semin Oncol. 2005 Apr;32(2 Suppl 4):S39-51.

nccn, esophageal cancer, 2012

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