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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Radiation Oncology 1/2018

Comparison of the clinical efficacy between single-agent and dual-agent concurrent chemoradiotherapy in the treatment of unresectable esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a multicenter retrospective analysis

Radiation Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Jie Li, Youling Gong, Peng Diao, Qingmei Huang, Yixue Wen, Binwei Lin, Hongwei Cai, Honggang Tian, Bing He, Lanlan Ji, Ping Guo, Jidong Miao, Xiaobo Du



Some Chinese patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinomaare often treated with single-agent concurrent chemoradiotherapy. However, no results have been reported from randomized controlled clinical trials comparing single-agent with double-agent concurrent chemoradiotherapy. It therefore remains unclear whether these regimens are equally clinically effective. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed and compared the therapeutic effects of single-agent and double-agent concurrent chemoradiotherapy in patients with unresectable esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.


This study enrolled 168 patients who received definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced unresectable esophageal squamous carcinoma at 10 hospitals between 2010 and 2015. We evaluated survival time and toxicity. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival data. The log-rank test was used in univariate analysis A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to conduct a multivariate analysis of the effects of prognostic factors on survival.


In this study, 100 (59.5%) and 68 patients (40.5%) received single-agent and dual-agent combination chemoradiotherapy, respectively. The estimate 5-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate and overall survival (OS) rate of dual-agent therapy was higher than that of single-agent therapy (52.5% and 40.9%, 78.2% and 60.7%, respectively), but there were no significant differences (P = 0.367 and 0.161, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that sex, age,and radiotherapy dose had no significant effects on OS or PFS. Only disease stage was associated with OS and PFS in the multivariable analysis (P = 0.006 and 0.003, respectively). In dual-agent group, the incidence of acute toxicity and the incidence of 3 and4 grade toxicity were higher than single-agent group.


The 5-year PFS and OS rates of dual-agent therapy were higher than those of single-agent concurrent chemoradiotherapy for patients with unresectable esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; however, there were no significant differences in univariate analysis and multivariable analysis. Single-agent concurrent chemotherapy had less toxicity than a double-drug regimen. Therefore, we suggest that single therapis not inferior to dual therapy y. In the future, we aim to confirm our hypothesis through a prospective randomized study.
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