The 4th Investigators’ Workshop sponsored by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center was held on July 25-29, 2001, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The purpose of these annual workshops has been to review the latest data on new agents, with a particular focus on the broadly used agent irinotecan(Drug information on irinotecan) (CPT-11, Camptosar).
Investigators from around the world were invited to present current research. The forums were highly interactive and frank, thus allowing stimulation of new ideas and directions. The meetings were more like a workshop rather than didactic sessions. Six separate scientific sessions were held, and the respective sessions covered colorectal carcinoma, upper gastrointestinal/genitourinary carcinoma, lung carcinoma, and new combinations and other tumor types.
In addition to stimulating research, another purpose of these workshops is to develop enduring material for wider distribution to those who did not attend. Thus, four publications are intended. This second volume is devoted to upper gastrointestinal/genitourinary malignancies. Successive volumes will be devoted to new combinations and other malignancies (volume 3) and lung malignancies (volume 4). Last month, the first volume focused on colorectal cancers.
In this volume, David Ilson and colleagues report on a phase I trial of weekly irinotecan, cisplatin(Drug information on cisplatin), and concurrent radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced esophageal canceran aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis. Among the 13 evaluable patients, there were 5 clinical complete responses (38%), including 3 pathologic complete responses in 10 patients undergoing surgery (30%). These data indicate that full doses of weekly irinotecan (65 mg/m²) and cisplatin (30 mg/m²) can be combined safely with concurrent radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer.
Gastric carcinoma continues to be a significant health problem despite its decreasing incidence, and it remains the second most common malignant disorder in the world. In our article, my colleagues and I summarize our data from a phase II study that assessed the response rate and toxicity profile of the irinotecan/cisplatin combination administered weekly to patients who have had at least one previous chemotherapy for advanced adenocarcinoma of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction. A 29% response rate was achieved in the study. Modifications in doses and schedule are warranted to increase the tolerability of the regimen in further investigation.