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Clinical efficacy and survival analysis of apatinib combined with docetaxel in advanced esophageal cancer

Authors Li J, Jia YX, Gao YP, Chang ZW, Han HQ, Yan J, Qin YR

Received 22 October 2018

Accepted for publication 29 January 2019

Published 8 April 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 2577—2583


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjeev Srivastava

Jing Li,* Yongxu Jia,* Yaping Gao, Zhiwei Chang, Huiqiong Han, Jie Yan, Yanru Qin

Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background and aim: Standard chemotherapy has limited clinical efficacy in patients with esophageal cancer and there is a significant and unmet clinical need for effective treatment options for these patients. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy of the novel, targeted drug apatinib combined with docetaxel, and docetaxel combined with S-1 as second- or further-line treatment for patients with advanced esophageal cancer.
Methods: We enrolled 33 patients with advanced esophageal cancer in chemotherapy group or apatinib combined with chemotherapy group in this retrospective study. Apatinib (500 mg) was taken orally once daily; docetaxel was administered at a dose of 75 mg/m²; and S-1 was optional at a dose of 40–60 mg, based on body surface area. The primary endpoint of this study was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR), and the incidence and severity of adverse events (AEs).
Results: No complete response was observed in the two groups. However, two and five patients achieved partial response in the chemotherapy group and the apatinib combined with chemotherapy group, respectively. The ORR and DCR for the chemotherapy group was 11.1% and 33.3%, respectively. In the apatinib combination group, ORR and DCR was 88.9% and 93.3%, respectively. Anemia (11.1%) and neutropenia (5.6%) were the most frequent grade III/IV AEs observed in the chemotherapy group. In the apatinib combination group, the most frequent grade III/IV AEs were anemia (13.3%), hypertension (6.7%), and proteinuria (6.7%). Median PFS was significantly longer in the apatinib combination group than in the chemotherapy group (175 days vs 85 days, P=0.01).
Conclusion: The combination of apatinib and docetaxel has a manageable toxicity profile and may prolong survival. Therefore, this combination may be used as as second- or further-line treatment for patients with advanced esophageal cancer.

Keywords: apatinib, esophageal carcinoma, vascular endothelial growth factor, survival analysis

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