Randomized Study on Dose Escalation in Definitive Chemoradiation for Patients With Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer (ARTDECO Study).

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To analyze the effect of radiation dose escalation to the primary tumor on local tumor control in definitive chemoradiation (dCRT) for patients with esophageal cancer.Patients with medically inoperable and/or irresectable esophageal carcinoma, referred for dCRT, were randomly assigned between a standard dose (SD) of 50.4 Gy/1.8 Gy for 5.5 weeks to the tumor and regional lymph nodes and a high dose (HD) up to a total dose of 61.6 Gy to the primary tumor. Chemotherapy consisted of courses of concurrent carboplatin (area under the curve 2) and paclitaxel (50 mg/m2) in both arms once a week for 6 weeks. The primary end point was local progression-free survival.Between September 2012 and June 2018, 260 patients were included. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was present in 61% of patients, and 39% had adenocarcinoma (AC). Radiation treatment was completed by 94%, and 85% had at least five courses of chemotherapy. The median follow-up time for all patients was 50 months. The 3-year local progression-free survival (LPFS) was 70% in the SD arm versus 73% in the HD arm (not significant). The LPFS for SCC and AC was 75% versus 79% and 61% versus 61% for SD and HD, respectively (not significant). The 3-year locoregional progression-free survival was 52% and 59% for the SD and HD arms, respectively (P = .08). Overall, grade 4 and 5 common toxicity criteria were 12% and 5% in the SD arm versus 14% and 10% in the HD arm, respectively (P = .15).In dCRT for esophageal cancer, radiation dose escalation up to 61.6 Gy to the primary tumor did not result in a significant increase in local control over 50.4 Gy. The absence of a dose effect was observed in both AC and SCC.

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Authors: Maarten C C M Hulshof, Elisabeth D Geijsen, Tom Rozema, Vera Oppedijk, Jeroen Buijsen, Karen J Neelis, Joost J M E Nuyttens, Maurice J C van der Sangen, Paul M Jeene, Jannie G Reinders, Mark I van Berge Henegouwen, Adriana Thano, Jeanin E van Hooft, Hanneke W M van Laarhoven, Ate van der Gaast