Despite first-line therapy, most patients with advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) experience disease progression and may become eligible for second-line chemotherapy. Although commonly used, the role of salvage chemotherapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic ESCC has not yet been established. We analyzed 53 patients who had received second-line chemotherapy after the failure of cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy as first-line therapy in ESCC between March 2000 and June 2008. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for second-line chemotherapy were 2.4 and 5.2 months, respectively, with an overall response rate of 18.9%. In multivariate analysis, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG PS) of 2 or more and PFS under first-line therapy <4 months were independent prognostic factors for decreased OS. OS was estimated based on the number of adverse prognostic factors: 0 = good; 1 = intermediate, and 2 = poor. The median OS for the good, intermediate, and poor prognostic groups were 11.2, 4.5 and 4.3 months, respectively (p < 0.001). The good prognostic group showed better OS than the intermediate or poor groups (p < 0.001). Second-line chemotherapy may be beneficial for OS in ESCC patients with ECOG PS 0-1 and PFS under first-line therapy ≥4 months.
- Chemotherapy, second line
- Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- Prognostic model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research