Randomized Phase II Study of PET Response–Adapted Combined Modality Therapy for Esophageal Cancer: Mature Results of the CALGB 80803 (Alliance) Trial

Karyn A. Goodman, Fang Shu Ou, Nathan C. Hall, Tanios Bekaii-Saab, Briant Fruth, Erin Twohy, Michael O. Meyers, Daniel J. Boffa, Kisha Mitchell, Wendy L. Frankel, Donna Niedzwiecki, Anne Noonan, Yelena Y. Janjigian, Paul J. Thurmes, Alan P. Venook, Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, Eileen M. O’Reilly, David H. Ilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE To evaluate the use of early assessment of chemotherapy responsiveness by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to tailor therapy in patients with esophageal and esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma. METHODS After baseline PET, patients were randomly assigned to an induction chemotherapy regimen: modified oxaliplatin, leucovorin, and fluorouracil (FOLFOX) or carboplatin-paclitaxel (CP). Repeat PET was performed after induction; change in maximum standardized uptake value (SUV) from baseline was assessed. PET nonresponders (< 35% decrease in SUV) crossed over to the alternative chemotherapy during chemoradiation (50.4 Gy/28 fractions). PET responders (≥ 35% decrease in SUV) continued on the same chemotherapy during chemoradiation. Patients underwent surgery at 6 weeks postchemoradiation. Primary end point was pathologic complete response (pCR) rate in nonresponders after switching chemotherapy. RESULTS Two hundred forty-one eligible patients received Protocol treatment, of whom 225 had an evaluable repeat PET. The pCR rates for PET nonresponders after induction FOLFOX who crossed over to CP (n = 39) or after induction CP who changed to FOLFOX (n = 50) was 18.0% (95% CI, 7.5 to 33.5) and 20% (95% CI, 10 to 33.7), respectively. The pCR rate in responders who received induction FOLFOX was 40.3% (95% CI, 28.9 to 52.5) and 14.1% (95% CI, 6.6 to 25.0) in responders to CP. With a median follow-up of 5.2 years, median overall survival was 48.8 months (95% CI, 33.2 months to not estimable) for PET responders and 27.4 months (95% CI, 19.4 months to not estimable) for nonresponders. For induction FOLFOX patients who were PET responders, median survival was not reached. CONCLUSION Early response assessment using PET imaging as a biomarker to individualize therapy for patients with esophageal and esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma was effective, improving pCR rates in PET nonresponders. PET responders to induction FOLFOX who continued on FOLFOX during chemoradiation achieved a promising 5-year overall survival of 53%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2803-2815
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number25
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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