Long-term Treatment Outcomes for Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer: A Single-Institution Experience

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To determine long-term outcomes in patients with locally advanced esophageal carcinoma treated with trimodality therapy (chemoradiotherapy [CRT] and surgery, TMT) or definitive CRT.


We retrospectively identified patients with advanced esophageal carcinoma treated with curative intent at our institution between 1998 and 2004. Identified patients were separated into 3 groups: patients who received TMT, patients who received CRT, and patients who began treatment with trimodality intent but did not undergo surgery (PTMT). Local control, overall survival (OS), and distant metastasis-free survival were compared using Kaplan-Meier statistics.


Among the 265 patients included, median follow-up was 6.4 years for surviving patients and 1.7 years for all patients. Type of esophageal cancer was adenocarcinoma in 213 patients (80%) and squamous cell carcinoma in 46 patients (17%). Treatment groups comprised 169 patients (64%) completing TMT, 46 patients medically unable to undergo surgery after neoadjuvant therapy (PTMT), and 50 (19%) who underwent CRT. Median OS was 20.5 months; actuarial 5- and 10-year OS were 27% and 12%, respectively. The TMT group had the highest 5- and 10-year OS (32% and 19%, respectively). Local control rates at 2, 5, and 10 years for all patients were 80%, 70%, and 69%, respectively. By treatment modality, 5-year local control was best (82%) for TMT, compared with 60% for CRT and 40% for PTMT groups (P<0.001).


Patients who completed TMT had the best local control and long-term OS. In the context of TMT, surgery seemed more beneficial in patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma versus squamous cell carcinoma.

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