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Table 1 Characteristics of 11 included studies

From: Cetuximab for esophageal cancer: an updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Subtype classification of esophageal cancer Study (year) Design Disease Arms Country Years enrolled Population (N, age) Sex: Male/Famale Follow-up duration (months) Primary end-point Main outcome measures
Non-metastatic esophageal cancer Rades et al. (2014) [23] RCT; open-label, randomized multicenter phase II study Unresectable locally advanced esophageal cancer Radiochemotherapy with 5FU, cisplatin, 59.4 Gy/6.5 weeks plus/minus cetuximab Germany NM N = 20, NM NM 24 Response rates Response, PFS and survival, disease control rate
Zhang et al. (2014) RCT; unicentre, randomised, parallel, two-arm trial Localized esophageal cancer Routine chemotherapy, routine chemotherapy plus cetuximab China 2008–2009 N = 80, 46–79 years old 52/28 36 Overall survival Overall survival, recurrence rate, transfer rate
Crosby et al. (2017) [21] RCT; multicentre, randomised, open-label, parallel, two-arm, phase 2/3 trial Localized esophageal squamous cell cancer and adenocarcinomas CRT only, CRT plus cetuximab UK 2008–2012 N = 258, 67 (35.7–84.1) years old 145/113 60 Overall survival Compliance, toxicities, PFS and survival, causes of death
Ruhstaller et al. (2017) RCT; multicentre, randomized, open-label phase III trial Locally advanced but resectable ESCC and thoracic esophagus adenocarcinomas Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy followed by chemoradiation (45 Gy, docetaxel 20 mg/m2 and cisplatin 25 mg/m2, weekly for 5 weeks) and surgery with and without cetuximab Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France 2010–2013 N = 300, 61 (53–68) years old 263/37 72 PFS Compliance, surgery and pathological remission rate, efficacy, safety
Suntharalingam et al. (2017) [28] RCT; multicentre, randomized, phase III trial locally advanced ESCC or adenocarcinoma of the esophagus or gastroesophageal junction RT (daily radiation of 50.4 Gy/1.8 Gy fractions) + Chemo, RT + Chemo + cetuximab USA 2008–2013 N = 328, 64 (57–71) years old 276/52 36 Overall survival Tolerance and toxic effects, survival, response, local failure
Metastatic esophageal cancer Lorenzen et al. (2009) [14] RCT; multicenter, open-label, noncomparative randomized phase II study Nonresectable, advanced ESCC, including metastatic disease CF, CET-CF Germany 2004–2006 N = 62, 61 (40–76) years old 52/10 24 The confirmed objective response rate Response, safety and tolerability, PFS and survival
Chen et al. (2014) [22] RCT; unicentre, randomised, parallel, two-arm trial Advanced esophageal cancer, incuding metastatic disease CRT only, CRT plus cetuximab China 2011–2012 N = 40, 57.3 ± 5.3 years old 26/14 12 PFS Response, safety, PFS and survival
Feng et al. (2017) [25] RCT; unicentre, randomised, parallel, two-arm trial Thoracic esophageal carcinoma with lymph node metastasis Radiotherapy (2.5–3.5 Gy/time, 4–5 times/week, 65–70 Gy in total) plus chemotherapy, radiotherapy plus cinobufotalin and cetuximab China 2011–2013 N = 78, 59.35 ± 6.08 years old 43/35 36 Overall survival Response, overall survival, quality of life, serum indicators
Yang et al. (2017) [26] RCT; unicentre, randomised, two-arm trial Advanced esophageal cancer, incuding metastatic disease Chemotherapy, chemotherapy plus cetuximab China 2016–2017 N = 100, 37–77 years old 61/39 1 Response rates Response, toxic effects
Lu et al. (2017) [16] RCT; unicentre, randomised, parallel, two-arm trial Advanced esophageal cancer, incuding metastatic disease Chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5FU, Chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5FU plus cetuximab China 2013–2015 N = 80, 45–80 years old 51/29 12 Overall survival CEA, SCC, response, overall survival
  1. Abbreviations: RCT randomized controlled trial, CF cisplatin and fluorouracil, CET–CF cetuximab, cisplatin and fluorouracil, PFS progression-free survival, CRT chemoradiotherapy, ESCC esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, 5FU 5-fluorouracil, RT radiation therapy, CEA carcino embryonic antigen, SCC squamous cell carcinoma antigen, NM not mentioned