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Association Between Multiple Lines of Active Therapy and Prognosis in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Authors Yang Y, Jia J, Sun Z, Liu C, Xiao Y, Yu J, Du F, Zhang X

Received 18 December 2019

Accepted for publication 15 March 2020

Published 24 March 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 2177—2184

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S242780

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjeev Srivastava


Ying Yang, Jun Jia, Zhiwei Sun, Chuanling Liu, Yanjie Xiao, Jing Yu, Feng Du, Xiaodong Zhang

Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education, China), The VIP-II Gastrointestinal Cancer Division of Medical Department, Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, China

Correspondence: Xiaodong Zhang
Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education, China), The VIP-II Gastrointestinal Cancer Division of Medical Department, Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, China
Email zhangxd0829@163.com

Purpose: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a critical threat to health and life. More than half of ESCC patients have recurrent or metastatic disease. Most late-stage patients undergo first-line treatment but experience further progression. Many of these patients have good performance status and are able to receive second-line therapy and even further treatments rather than best supportive care. Our analysis aimed to explore whether multiple lines of active treatment are beneficial in ESCC patients.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study. Univariate and multivariate survival analyses were used to identify whether the number of active treatment lines was related to prognosis. All analyses and the corresponding survival curves were based on the Cox proportional hazard regression model and the Kaplan–Meier method. Comparisons between groups were conducted using the t-test, chi-square test, and Fisher’s exact test, as applicable.
Results: Of a total of 138 patients with recurrent or metastatic disease, 66 (61.1%) received one line of active treatment, and 42 (38.9%) patients received two and more lines. Multiple lines of active therapy were statistically significantly associated with better prognosis (crude hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval (CI))=0.21 (0.06– 0.73)), even after adjusting for relevant confounders (adjusted HR (95% CI)=0.19 (0.04– 0.86)). More grade 3– 4 hepatotoxicity patients were observed in the multiple-line treatment group (p=0.033). A small number of patients were cured by palliative management; these patients were more likely to have received both systematic and local treatment than other patients with repeated progression (9/15 versus 40/117, p=0.051).
Conclusion: Multiple lines of active treatment are related to prolonged survival in recurrent and metastatic ESCC patients, and adverse effects are acceptable. Comprehensive therapy modalities are recommended.

Keywords: multiple lines of active treatment, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, prognosis

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