The primary endpoint was downstaging defined as the proportion of patients having T<3 tumours or N0 disease after three cycles of preoperative chemotherapy. Initially, downstaging was planned to be done by imaging, comparing baseline CT scan with a second CT scan done before surgery, but given the limitation of staging by CT imaging, final analysis for T and N stage was done based on pathological staging. Toxicity was a secondary endpoint and was assessed at day 1 of every chemotherapy cycle and prior to surgery using the CTCAE v3.0 manual [14]. Response rate measured by RECIST could not be assessed for the T and N stage, given the difficulty to obtain measurable lesions using CT scans. Surgical mortality rate was defined as patients deceased for any cause within 30 days of surgery. Compliance with postoperative chemotherapy was defined as the number of patients who started postoperative chemotherapy after curative resection and the number of patients who completed three cycles. Overall survival was calculated from the date of enrolment to death. Patients alive were censored at the time of last follow-up. Vital status for patients with no follow-up visit at the clinic was obtained by consultation of the civil registry. Patients not recorded as deceased were assumed alive and censored at the time of consultation of the civil registry. Death data were obtained through death certificates delivered by the civil registry.

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