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Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy, With or Without Cetuximab, Followed by Surgery in Treating Patients With Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer That Can Be Removed by Surgery

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research Identifier:
First received: April 20, 2010
Last updated: November 10, 2016
Last verified: November 2016

RATIONALE: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays and to kill tumor cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as docetaxel and cisplatin, work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Monoclonal antibodies, such as cetuximab, can block tumor growth in different ways. Some block the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Others find tumor cells and help kill them or carry tumor-killing substances to them. It is not yet known whether giving radiation therapy together with chemotherapy is more effective with or without cetuximab in treating patients with esophageal cancer.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying giving radiation therapy together with chemotherapy, with or without cetuximab, followed by surgery in treating patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer that can be removed by surgery.

Condition Intervention Phase
Adenocarcinoma of the Gastroesophageal Junction
Esophageal Cancer
Biological: cetuximab
Drug: cisplatin
Drug: docetaxel
Procedure: adjuvant therapy
Procedure: neoadjuvant therapy
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Multimodal Therapy With and Without Cetuximab in Patients With Locally Advanced Esophageal Carcinoma - An Open-Label Phase III Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Progression-free survival (PFS) [ Time Frame: time from randomization to a defined event. ]

    time from randomization to one of the following events, whichever comes first:

    • Tumor progression at any time (progression of primary tumor or local lymph nodes, appearance of new lesions)
    • Recurrence at local, regional or distant site after surgery
    • Death from any cause

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Progression-free survival after surgery [ Time Frame: from date of surgery to an event as defined in PFS. ]
  • Adverse events according to CTCAE version 4.0 and major postoperative complications [ Time Frame: during treatment and follow-up period. ]
  • Pathological remission [ Time Frame: Assessed according to the tumor regression model of Mandard ]
  • Overall survival [ Time Frame: time from trial randomization to the date of death from any cause ]
  • Time to locoregional failure after R0 resection [ Time Frame: from date of surgery to date of first documented loco-regional failure ]
  • Time to systemic failure after R0 resection [ Time Frame: from date of surgery to date of first documented systemic failure ]
  • In-hospital mortality [ Time Frame: occurring after surgery but while the patient remains in hospital ]
  • Time to progression (TTP) [ Time Frame: Time to progression is defined as time from randomization to one of the following events, whichever comes first: - Tumor progression at any time. - Recurrence at local, regional or distant site after surgery. - Death due to tumor ]

Enrollment: 297
Study Start Date: April 2010
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2019
Primary Completion Date: December 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Additional immunotherapy (cetuximab)
All patients in the experimental arm will be given additional immunotherapy (cetuximab) during cycles 1 and 2, during RT and after surgery.
Biological: cetuximab
Loading dose 400 mg/m2 2h infusion Weekly: 250 mg/m2 1h infusion
Other Name: Erbitux
Drug: cisplatin
  • Cisplatin 75 mg/m2 1h infusion d1, 22
  • Cisplatin 25 mg/m2 1h infusion weekly x5
Drug: docetaxel
  • Docetaxel 75 mg/m2 1h infusion d1, 22
  • Docetaxel 20 mg/m2 1/2h infusion weekly x5
Other Name: Taxotere or generic product
Procedure: adjuvant therapy
During the adjuvant phase, all infusions, given every two weeks, will be at a dose of 500mg/m².
Procedure: neoadjuvant therapy
During the neoadjuvant phase, the first infusion of cetuximab should be at a dose of 400 mg/m² administered over a period of 2 hours and all subsequent infusions, given weekly, should be of 250 mg/m² over a period of 1 hour, unless any infusion related reaction was observed at a previous infusion. (The maximum infusion rate is 10 mg/min, corresponding to 2 mL/min ready-to-use solution.
Active Comparator: Without additional immunotherapy
Standard therapy without immunotherapy (cetuximab).
Drug: cisplatin
  • Cisplatin 75 mg/m2 1h infusion d1, 22
  • Cisplatin 25 mg/m2 1h infusion weekly x5
Drug: docetaxel
  • Docetaxel 75 mg/m2 1h infusion d1, 22
  • Docetaxel 20 mg/m2 1/2h infusion weekly x5
Other Name: Taxotere or generic product

Detailed Description:



  • To determine the efficacy of neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy comprising docetaxel, cisplatin, and radiotherapy in combination with cetuximab followed by surgery and adjuvant cetuximab versus neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy comprising docetaxel, cisplatin, and radiotherapy followed by surgery in patients with locally advanced esophageal carcinoma.


  • To compare the toxicity of the two therapy arms.
  • To determine patterns of failure overall and with regard to histology.
  • To evaluate economic aspects in a subproject and to perform a radiotherapy quality assurance program.

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to center, histology (adenocarcinoma vs squamous cell carcinoma), primary tumor (T2 vs T3-4), and gender (male vs female). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm A:

    • Induction chemotherapy (docetaxel and cisplatin) and concurrent cetuximab Patients receive docetaxel IV over 1 hour and cisplatin IV over 1 hour on day 1 and cetuximab IV over 1-2 hours on day 1, 8, and 15. Treatment repeats every 21 days for 2 courses.
    • Chemotherapy (docetaxel and cisplatin), cetuximab, and concurrent radiotherapy Beginning in week 7, patients receive cetuximab IV over 1 hour, docetaxel IV over 30 minutes, cisplatin IV over 1 hour on days 43, 50, 57, 64, and 71 and undergo radiotherapy 5 days a week for 5 weeks. Patients then undergo surgery 4-7 weeks after completion of radiotherapy.
    • Adjuvant cetuximab Beginning 3-6 weeks after completion of surgery, patients receive cetuximab IV over 1-2 hours once every 2 weeks for a total of 6 doses.
  • Arm B: Patients receive induction chemotherapy comprising docetaxel IV and cisplatin IV for 2 courses as in arm A. Beginning in week 7, patients receive docetaxel IV, cisplatin IV, and concurrent radiotherapy for 5 weeks as in arm A. Patients then undergo surgery 4-7 weeks after completion of radiotherapy.

After completion of study therapy, patients are followed up at 1 (arm B) or 6 (arm A) months, every 3 months for 3 years, and then every 6 months for 2 years.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed esophageal carcinoma
  • Meets the following criteria:

    • Resectable, locally advanced disease as determined by the combination of CT scan, endoluminal ultrasound (EUS), PET scan, and a multidisciplinary team discussion

      • T2, N1-3; T3, any N; or T4a, any N (if technically resectable with curative intent [R0] as decided by a multidisciplinary team discussion)

        • EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA) allowed, but determines nodal status only if positive FNA
      • No T1, any N, M0; or T2, N0, M0; T4a (due to infiltration of the trachea-bronchial tree or organ involvement that cannot be operated on with curative intent [R0] as decided by a multidisciplinary team discussion); T4b; or distant metastasis (M1)
    • Type I or II disease according to the Siewert classification
    • Squamous cell carcinoma (including basaloid-squamous cell and adenosquamous carcinoma) or adenocarcinoma of the thoracic esophagus or the esophagogastric junction (from 5 cm below the entrance of the esophagus into the thorax to the gastric cardia)
  • Patients with obstructive tumors are eligible (obstructive tumors will be considered as locally advanced tumors)
  • No cervical esophageal carcinoma and tumors involving the first 5 cm of the thoracic esophagus
  • No airway infiltration in case of tumors at or above the tracheal bifurcation
  • No peritoneal carcinomatosis in case of adenocarcinomas infiltrating the gastric cardia (i.e., esophagogastric junction carcinoma Siewert type I or II)


  • WHO performance status 0-1
  • Neutrophil count ≥ 1.5 x 10^9/L
  • Platelet count ≥ 100 x 10^9/L
  • Creatinine clearance > 60 mL/min
  • Bilirubin ≤ 1.0 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Alkaline phosphatase ≤ 2.5 times ULN
  • AST ≤ 1.5 times ULN
  • INR normal
  • PTT ≤ 1.0 times ULN
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception during and for 12 months after completion of study therapy
  • FEV_1 ≥ 1.5 L OR ≥ 75% of the reference value
  • Must be compliant and geographically proximal for staging and follow-up
  • Considered operable (i.e., appropriate organ functions and ability to undergo general anesthesia)
  • No other malignancies within the past 5 years except nonmelanomatous skin cancer or adequately treated carcinoma in situ of the cervix
  • No severe or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease, including any of the following:

    • NYHA class III-IV congestive heart failure
    • Unstable angina pectoris
    • Myocardial infarction within the past 12 months
    • Significant arrhythmias
  • No psychiatric disorder precluding understanding of information on trial related topics, giving informed consent, and answering questionnaires
  • No active uncontrolled infection
  • No serious underlying medical condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, could impair the ability of the patient to participate in the trial (e.g., uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or active autoimmune disease)
  • No preexisting peripheral neuropathy > grade 1
  • No definite contraindications for the use of corticosteroids and antihistamines as premedication
  • No known hypersensitivity to trial drugs or hypersensitivity to any other component of the trial drugs


  • No prior chemotherapy or radiotherapy to the chest
  • At least 30 days since prior treatment in another clinical trial
  • No concurrent drugs contraindicated for use with the trial drugs
  • No other concurrent anticancer treatments
  • No other concurrent experimental drugs or investigational treatments
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01107639

  Hide Study Locations
Feldkirch, Austria, A-6807
Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin I
Innsbruck, Austria, A-6020
Krankenhaus Barmherzige Schwestern Linz
Linz, Austria, A-4010
Krankenhaus der Elisabethinen Linz GmbH
Linz, Austria, A-4010
Universitätsklinikum der PMU Salzburg
Salzburg, Austria, A-5020
Klinikum Wels-Grieskirchen GmbH
Wels, Austria, A-4600
Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin
Wien, Austria, 1090
Hôpital Avicenne
Bobigny, France, 93000
Centre Hospitalier Général
Béziers, France, 34525
Hôtel Dieu Estaing
Clermont Ferrand, France, 63003
CHU Le Bocage
Dijon Cedex, France, 21079
Centre Georges-François Leclerc
Dijon, France, 21079
Centre Bourgogne
Lille, France, 59000
CHRU de Lille
Lille, France, 59037
Clinique François Chénieux
Limoges, France, 87000
Marseille, France, 13385
CH Régional de la Source
Orleans, France, 45067
CH Saint Jean
Perpignan Cedex, France, 66046
Hôpital Haut Leveque
Pessac Cedex, France, 33604
Rennes Cedex 9, France, 35033
CHU de Saint Etienne - Hôpital Nord
St Priest En Jarez, France, 42277
Clinique Ste Anne
Strasbourg, France, 67000
Hôpital Purpan
Toulouse, France, 31509
Charite University Hospital - Campus Virchow Klinikum
Berlin, Germany, D-13353
Universitaetsklinikum Duesseldorf
Duesseldorf, Germany, D-40225
Kliniken Essen - Mitte
Essen, Germany, D-45136
Universitaetsklinikum Freiburg
Freiburg, Germany, D-79106
SLK-Kliniken Heilbronn GmbH
Heilbronn, Germany, 74078
Klinikum Herford
Herford, Germany, D-32049
Klinikum Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg, Germany, D-71640
Universitaetsklinikum Giessen und Marburg GmbH
Marburg, Germany, D-35043
Klinikum der Universitaet Muenchen - Grosshadern Campus
Munich, Germany, D-81377
Staedtisches Klinikum Solingen
Solingen, Germany, D-42653
Klinikum Stuttgart - Katharinenhospital
Stuttgart, Germany, 70174
Universitaetsklinikum Tuebingen
Tuebingen, Germany, D-72076
Szent Laszlo Korhaz
Budapest, Hungary, 1097
Hirslanden Klinik Aarau
Aarau, Switzerland, CH-5001
Kantonsspital Aarau
Aarau, Switzerland, CH-5001
Kantonsspital Baden
Baden, Switzerland, CH-5404
St. Claraspital AG
Basel, Switzerland, CH-4016
Basel, Switzerland, CH-4031
Inselspital Bern
Bern, Switzerland, CH-3010
Kantonsspital Bruderholz
Bruderholz, Switzerland, CH-4101
Kantonsspital Graubuenden
Chur, Switzerland, CH-7000
Hopital Cantonal Universitaire de Geneve
Geneva, Switzerland, CH-1211
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois
Lausanne, Switzerland, CH-1011
Kantonsspital Liestal
Liestal, Switzerland, CH-4410
Kantonsspital Olten
Olten, Switzerland, CH-4600
Hôpital du Valais (RSV)-CHCVs
Sion, Switzerland, 1951
Kantonsspital - St. Gallen
St. Gallen, Switzerland, CH-9007
Thun, Switzerland, 3600
Ospedale Italiano
Viganello, Switzerland, CH-6962
Kantonsspital Winterthur
Winterthur, Switzerland, CH-8400
Onkozentrum Klinik im Park
Zurich, Switzerland, 8038
Klinik Hirslanden
Zurich, Switzerland, CH-8032
City Hospital Triemli
Zurich, Switzerland, CH-8063
UniversitaetsSpital Zuerich
Zurich, Switzerland, CH-8091
Sponsors and Collaborators
Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research
Study Chair: Thomas Ruhstaller, MD Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen
Study Chair: Michael Stahl, MD Kliniken Essen-Mitte
  More Information

Responsible Party: Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research Identifier: NCT01107639     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SAKK 75/08
2009-016584-10 ( EudraCT Number )
Study First Received: April 20, 2010
Last Updated: November 10, 2016
Individual Participant Data  
Plan to Share IPD: No

Keywords provided by Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research:
stage IIB esophageal cancer
adenocarcinoma of the esophagus
adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction
squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus
stage IIIA esophageal cancer
stage IIIB esophageal cancer
stage IIIC esophageal cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Esophageal Neoplasms
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Digestive System Diseases
Esophageal Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Antineoplastic Agents
Tubulin Modulators
Antimitotic Agents
Mitosis Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on May 25, 2017