Ten-Year Outcome of Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy Plus Surgery for Esophageal Cancer: The Randomized Controlled CROSS Trial

CROSS Study Group

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PURPOSE: Preoperative chemoradiotherapy according to the chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer followed by surgery study (CROSS) has become a standard of care for patients with locally advanced resectable esophageal or junctional cancer. We aimed to assess long-term outcome of this regimen. METHODS: From 2004 through 2008, we randomly assigned 366 patients to either five weekly cycles of carboplatin and paclitaxel with concurrent radiotherapy (41.4 Gy in 23 fractions, 5 days per week) followed by surgery, or surgery alone. Follow-up data were collected through 2018. Cox regression analyses were performed to compare overall survival, cause-specific survival, and risks of locoregional and distant relapse. The effect of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy beyond 5 years of follow-up was tested with time-dependent Cox regression and landmark analyses. RESULTS: The median follow-up was 147 months (interquartile range, 134-157). Patients receiving neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy had better overall survival (hazard ratio [HR], 0.70; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.89). The effect of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy on overall survival was not time-dependent (P value for interaction, P = .73), and landmark analyses suggested a stable effect on overall survival up to 10 years of follow-up. The absolute 10-year overall survival benefit was 13% (38% v 25%). Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy reduced risk of death from esophageal cancer (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.80). Death from other causes was similar between study arms (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.99). Although a clear effect on isolated locoregional (HR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.72) and synchronous locoregional plus distant relapse (HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.72) persisted, isolated distant relapse was comparable (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.52 to 1.13). CONCLUSION: The overall survival benefit of patients with locally advanced resectable esophageal or junctional cancer who receive preoperative chemoradiotherapy according to CROSS persists for at least 10 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1995-2004
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical oncology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2021

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