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This article is the author’s final published version in The Oncologist, Volume 28, Issue 9, September 2023, Pages 827–e822.

The published version is available at Copyright © The Author(s) 2023.


BACKGROUND: Patients with advanced esophageal cancer carry poor prognoses; limited data exist to guide second-line therapy in the metastatic setting. Paclitaxel has been used yet is associated with limited efficacy. There is preclinical evidence of synergy between paclitaxel and cixutumumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor. We conducted a randomized phase II trial of paclitaxel (arm A) versus paclitaxel plus cixutumumab (arm B) in the second-line for patients with metastatic esophageal or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancers.

METHODS: The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS); 87 patients (43 in arm A, 44 in arm B) were treated.

RESULTS: Median PFS was 2.6 months in arm A [90% CL 1.8-3.5] and 2.3 months in arm B [90% 2.0-3.5], P = .86. Stable disease was observed in 29 (33%) patients. Objective response rates for Arms A and B were 12% [90% CI, 5-23%] and 14% [90% CI, 6-25%]. Median overall survival was 6.7 months [90% CL 4.9-9.5] in arm A and 7.2 months [90% CL 4.9-8.1] in arm B, P = 56.

CONCLUSION: The addition of cixutumumab to paclitaxel in second-line therapy of metastatic esophageal/GEJ cancer was well tolerated but did not improve clinical outcomes relative to standard of care ( Identifier: NCT01142388).

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