Recurrence Risk Stratification After Preoperative Chemoradiation of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

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To discern recurrence risk stratification and investigate its influence on postoperative surveillance in patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT).


Reports documenting recurrence risk stratification in EAC after neoadjuvant CRT are scarce.


Between 1998 and 2014, 601 patients with EAC who underwent neoadjuvant CRT followed by esophagectomy were included for analysis. The pattern, site, timing, and frequency of the first recurrence and potential prognostic factors for developing recurrences were analyzed. This cohort was used as the training set to propose a recurrence risk stratification system, and the stratification was further validated in another cohort of 172 patients.


A total of 150 patients (25.0%) achieved pathologic complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant CRT and the rest were defined as the non-pCR group (n = 451) in the training cohort. After a median follow-up of 63.6 months, the pCR group demonstrated a significantly lower locoregional (4.7% vs 19.1%) and distant recurrence rate (22.0% vs.44.6%) than the non-pCR group (P < 0.001). Based on independent prognostic factors, patients were stratified into 4 recurrence risk categories: pCR with clinical stage I/II, pCR with clinical stage III, non-pCR with pN0, and non-pCR with pN+, with corresponding 5-year recurrence-free survival rates of 88.7%, 65.8%, 55.3%, and 33.0%, respectively (P < 0.001). The risk stratification was reproducible in the validation cohort.


We proposed a recurrence risk stratification system for EAC patients based on pathologic response and pretreatment clinical stage. Risk-based postoperative surveillance strategies could be developed for different risk categories.

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