Purpose: An aggressive trimodality approach from the Minnie Pearl Cancer Research Network [carboplatin AUC = 6, days 1 and 22; 5-fluorouracil 225 mg/m2 continuous infusion, days 1-42, paclitaxel 200 mg/m2, days 1 and 22; 45 Gy] has resulted in remarkable pathologic response rates but notable toxicity. This trial was designed to mitigate this toxicity by starting with a lower carboplatin dose, AUC = 4, and by adding subcutaneous amifostine. Methods: This phase II trial included patients with locally advanced, potentially resectable esophageal cancer. All were to receive the above regimen with modifications of carboplatin AUC = 4 and amifostine 500 mg subcutaneously before radiation. All were then to undergo an esophagectomy. A planned interim toxicity analysis after the first 10 patients was to determine whether the carboplatin dose should escalate to AUC = 6. Results: Ten patients were enrolled, and all required dose reductions/omissions during neoadjuvant therapy. One patient died from paclitaxel anaphylaxis. Six patients manifested a complete pathologic response. Conclusion: With this regimen, carboplatin AUC = 4 for patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer is appropriate.
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