Author | David H. Ilson, MD, PhD

Articles

Preoperative Therapy in Esophageal Cancer: Controversy and Consensus

November 15, 2010

Dr. Krasna has written an overview of multimodality therapy in esophageal cancer, with a particular focus on aspects related to staging and surgical care. The optimal management of locally advanced esophageal cancer remains a subject of controversy and active debate. However, there is now a clear consensus that surgery alone is inadequate therapy for patients with T3 or node-positive disease.

Sorting Out the Targeted-Agent Combinations for Colorectal Cancer

April 15, 2008

Dr. Pohl and colleagues have provided a comprehensive and well written overview of the current landscape of targeted agents and chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer.

Phase II Trial of Weekly Irinotecan/Cisplatin in Advanced Esophageal Cancer

December 04, 2004

Esophageal cancer is a rare but highly virulent malignancy in theUnited States, and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus has had the mostrapid rate of increase of any solid tumor malignancy. Systemic metastaticdisease is present in 50% of patients at diagnosis. In the remaining50% presenting with local regional disease, systemic metastatic diseasewill develop in the vast majority of these patients.

Irinotecan in Esophageal Cancer

September 01, 2003

The limited effectiveness of chemotherapy in esophageal cancerused to palliate metastatic disease or to combine with radiotherapy inlocally advanced disease has prompted the evaluation of new systemicagents. Irinotecan (CPT-11, Camptosar) has shown promising activityin a number of gastrointestinal cancers, including esophageal cancer.The phase II evaluation of the combination of weekly irinotecan andcisplatin has shown encouraging response rates exceeding 30% to 50%in esophageal and gastric cancer. Novel regimens include the combinationof irinotecan with mitomycin (Mutamycin), the taxanes docetaxel(Taxotere) and paclitaxel, and continuous infusion fluorouracil(5-FU). Irinotecan is an active radiosensitizer, and trials have evaluatedthe combination of irinotecan with concurrent radiotherapy. We completeda phase I trial combining weekly irinotecan, cisplatin, andconcurrent radiotherapy in locally advanced esophageal cancer. Minimaltoxicity has been observed, with no grade 3/4 esophagitis ordiarrhea, and hematologic toxicity was also surprisingly minimal. Fulldoses of weekly irinotecan (65 mg/m2) and cisplatin (30 mg/m2) could becombined safely with concurrent radiotherapy, with a significant rate ofpathologic complete response. Phase II evaluation of this chemoradiotherapyregimen as preoperative therapy is planned at single institutionsand at the cooperative group level in the United States. Furtherphase I and II investigation of combined irinotecan, cisplatin, andconcurrent radiation is ongoing with the addition of targeted agents,including celecoxib (Celebrex), cetuximab (Erbitux), and bevacizumab(Avastin). Alternative combinations of irinotecan with radiotherapy,including the addition of docetaxel and continuous infusion 5-FU, arealso undergoing phase I and II evaluation.