A preopcrativc induction chemotherapy regimen consisting of two monthly courses of etoposide. doxoruhicin. and cisplatin was given to 13 patients with nonmetastatic adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus or gastroesophageal junction. Hsophageal ultrasound examination was performed both before chemotherapy and again before surgery. Induction chemotherapy was poorly tolerated with 10 of the 13 patients experiencing at least one episode of severe neutropenia. Two of the 13 patients refused the second course of treatment. A symptomatic response to chemotherapy, defined as a reduction in the presenting symptom, was noted in 10 of the 13 patients (77%). lindoscopic improvement occurred in 9 of the 13 patients (69%). Esophageal ultrasound evidence of a reduction in either T or N stage was noted in only 2 of the I 3 patients (15% ). however, and neither of these responses was confirmed pathologically. C'linieul evidence of disease progression was noted in 4 patients during chemotherapy. With a median follow-up of 31 months, the relapse-free and overall survivals are 25% and 31% respectively. Despite significant toxicity. our chemotherapy regimen would be considered successful if assessed by symptomatic or esophagoscopic improvement, Esophageal ultrasound, careful pathologic staging, and our disappointing survival rates, however, suggest limited, if any. value for this approach.