Background: Docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (DCF) therapy can cause severe adverse events, including neutropenia and febrile neutropenia. The feasibility of DCF therapy is a concern, particularly for elderly patients, patients with moderate organ disorders, and patients suffering from malnutrition caused by dysphagia or insufficient oral intake. We introduced a biweekly DCF therapy (bDCF) for the purpose of reducing severe adverse events for these fragile patients. This study investigated the feasibility and outcome of an esophagectomy after bDCF therapy for patients with advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Methods: Fifty-nine patients with esophageal carcinoma underwent an esophagectomy after DCF or bDCF therapy as primary chemotherapy. DCF was administered to 37 patients in the DCF group, whereas bDCF was administered to 22 patients in the bDCF group. Results: Patients in the bDCF group were significantly older than those in the DCF group (p = 0.016). Heart and pulmonary comorbidities were significantly more common in the bDCF than in the DCF group (p < 0.001 and p = 0.039, respectively). Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was less frequent in the bDCF than in the DCF group (40.9 vs. 81.1%, p = 0.002). Anorexia was more frequent in the DCF group than in the bDCF group (18.9 vs. 0%, p = 0.030). The clinical response rate of the bDCF group was significantly higher than that of the DCF group (86.4 vs. 62.2%, p = 0.047). There was no significant between-group difference in the postoperative morbidity rate (bDCF 45.5% vs. DCF 32.4%) or in the histological therapeutic effect. Conclusion: The results demonstrate that primary bDCF therapy for high-risk patients with advanced esophageal cancer is feasible and safe in both chemotherapeutic and perioperative periods without a reduction in the efficacy of DCF therapy.
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