Multi-institutional Analysis of Recurrence and Survival After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy of Esophageal Cancer: Impact of Histology on Recurrence Patterns and Outcomes

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To determine the impact of histology on pathologic response, survival outcomes, and recurrence patterns in patients with esophageal cancer (EC) who received neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

Summary of Background Data:

There is a paucity of data regarding comparative outcomes after neoadjuvant CRT between esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma.


Between 2002 and 2015, 895 EC patients who underwent neoadjuvant CRT followed by esophagectomy at 3 academic institutions were retrospectively reviewed, including 207 patients with SCC (23.1%) and 688 patients with adenocarcinoma (76.9%). Pathologic response, survival, recurrence pattern, and potential prognostic factors were compared.


Pathologic complete response (pCR) rate was significantly higher for SCC compared with adenocarcinoma (44.9% vs 25.9%, P < 0.001). After a median follow-up of 52.9 months, 71 patients (34.3%) with SCC versus 297 patients (43.2%) with adenocarcinoma had recurrent disease (P = 0.023). For patients who achieved a pCR, no significant differences were found in recurrence pattern, sites, or survival end-points between the 2 histology groups. For non-pCR patients, the SCC group demonstrated significantly higher regional and supraclavicular recurrence rates but a lower hematogenous metastasis rate than adenocarcinoma patients, whereas the adenocarcinoma patients had a more favorable locoregional failure-free survival (P = 0.005) and worse distant metastasis-free survival (P = 0.024). No differences were found in overall survival (P = 0.772) or recurrence-free survival (P = 0.696) between groups.


SCC was associated with a significantly higher pCR rate than adenocarcinoma. Recurrence pattern and survival outcomes were significantly different between the 2 histology subtypes in non-pCR patients.

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