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      A phase III study on neoadjuvant chemotherapy versus neoadjuvant toripalimab plus chemotherapy for locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: Henan Cancer Hospital Thoracic Oncology Group 1909 (HCHTOG1909)


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          Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NACR) are the standard treatments for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). However, the 5-year overall survival (OS) rate is still far from satisfactory. In recent years, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have shown promising results in the treatment of ESCC. More than 20 phase II clinical trials have been launched to explore combinations of ICIs in the neoadjuvant setting for ESCC. Based on our phase II clinical trial, a two-arm phase III trial was launched in Henan Cancer Hospital. ICIs combined with NAC may usher in a new era and may benefit locally advanced, resectable ESCC patients.


          A two-arm phase III trial was launched in April 2020 in Henan Cancer Hospital. Patient recruitment will be completed within 18 months. The primary endpoint is event-free survival (EFS). The secondary endpoints include pathologic complete response (pCR), disease-free survival (DFS) rate, overall response rate (ORR), R0 resection rate, major pathologic response (MPR), adverse events (AEs), complication rate and quality of life (QOL). A biobank of pretreatment, resected tumor tissue and paired blood samples will be built for translational research in the future.


          This RCT directly compares NAC with neoadjuvant toripalimab plus chemotherapy in terms of EFS for locally advanced ESCC. The results may usher in a new era of resectable ESCC treatment.

          Trial registration

          NCT04280822 ( https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04280822). Registered title: “A Phase III, Randomized Controlled Study of Neo-adjuvant Toripalimab (JS001) in Combination with Chemotherapy versus Neo-adjuvant Chemotherapy for Resectable Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma”. Version 1.0/Nov. 21, 2019.

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          Most cited references30

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          Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries

          This article provides a status report on the global burden of cancer worldwide using the GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, with a focus on geographic variability across 20 world regions. There will be an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases (17.0 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) and 9.6 million cancer deaths (9.5 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) in 2018. In both sexes combined, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer (11.6% of the total cases) and the leading cause of cancer death (18.4% of the total cancer deaths), closely followed by female breast cancer (11.6%), prostate cancer (7.1%), and colorectal cancer (6.1%) for incidence and colorectal cancer (9.2%), stomach cancer (8.2%), and liver cancer (8.2%) for mortality. Lung cancer is the most frequent cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among males, followed by prostate and colorectal cancer (for incidence) and liver and stomach cancer (for mortality). Among females, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death, followed by colorectal and lung cancer (for incidence), and vice versa (for mortality); cervical cancer ranks fourth for both incidence and mortality. The most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death, however, substantially vary across countries and within each country depending on the degree of economic development and associated social and life style factors. It is noteworthy that high-quality cancer registry data, the basis for planning and implementing evidence-based cancer control programs, are not available in most low- and middle-income countries. The Global Initiative for Cancer Registry Development is an international partnership that supports better estimation, as well as the collection and use of local data, to prioritize and evaluate national cancer control efforts. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2018;0:1-31. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
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            Preoperative chemoradiotherapy for esophageal or junctional cancer.

            The role of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in the treatment of patients with esophageal or esophagogastric-junction cancer is not well established. We compared chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery with surgery alone in this patient population. We randomly assigned patients with resectable tumors to receive surgery alone or weekly administration of carboplatin (doses titrated to achieve an area under the curve of 2 mg per milliliter per minute) and paclitaxel (50 mg per square meter of body-surface area) for 5 weeks and concurrent radiotherapy (41.4 Gy in 23 fractions, 5 days per week), followed by surgery. From March 2004 through December 2008, we enrolled 368 patients, 366 of whom were included in the analysis: 275 (75%) had adenocarcinoma, 84 (23%) had squamous-cell carcinoma, and 7 (2%) had large-cell undifferentiated carcinoma. Of the 366 patients, 178 were randomly assigned to chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery, and 188 to surgery alone. The most common major hematologic toxic effects in the chemoradiotherapy-surgery group were leukopenia (6%) and neutropenia (2%); the most common major nonhematologic toxic effects were anorexia (5%) and fatigue (3%). Complete resection with no tumor within 1 mm of the resection margins (R0) was achieved in 92% of patients in the chemoradiotherapy-surgery group versus 69% in the surgery group (P<0.001). A pathological complete response was achieved in 47 of 161 patients (29%) who underwent resection after chemoradiotherapy. Postoperative complications were similar in the two treatment groups, and in-hospital mortality was 4% in both. Median overall survival was 49.4 months in the chemoradiotherapy-surgery group versus 24.0 months in the surgery group. Overall survival was significantly better in the chemoradiotherapy-surgery group (hazard ratio, 0.657; 95% confidence interval, 0.495 to 0.871; P=0.003). Preoperative chemoradiotherapy improved survival among patients with potentially curable esophageal or esophagogastric-junction cancer. The regimen was associated with acceptable adverse-event rates. (Funded by the Dutch Cancer Foundation [KWF Kankerbestrijding]; Netherlands Trial Register number, NTR487.).
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              T-cell invigoration to tumour burden ratio associated with anti-PD-1 response

              The clinical benefit of anti-PD-1 antibody treatment is dependent on the extent to which exhausted CD8 T cells are reinvigorated in relation to the tumour burden of the patient.

                Author and article information

                Ann Transl Med
                Ann Transl Med
                Annals of Translational Medicine
                AME Publishing Company
                January 2021
                January 2021
                : 9
                : 1
                [1]Department of Thoracic Surgery, The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Cancer Hospital , Zhengzhou, China
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Wen-Qun Xing, MD. Department of Thoracic Surgery, The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Henan Cancer Hospital, Zhengzhou 450008, China. Email: unique1vip@ 123456126.com .

                ORCID: 0000-0001-8196-7181.

                2021 Annals of Translational Medicine. All rights reserved.

                Open Access Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0.

                Study Protocol

                esophageal cancer (ec),neoadjuvant immunochemotherapy,clinical trial,phase iii


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