The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic impact of endoscopic traversability in patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
This retrospective study was based on medical records from a single tertiary medical center. The records of 317 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma treated with surgery or definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) between January 2009 and March 2016 were reviewed. Finally, we retrieved the data on 168 consecutive patients. These 168 patients were divided into 2 groups based on their endoscopic traversability findings: Group A (the endoscope traversable group), and Group B (the endoscope non-traversable group). We then retrospectively compared the clinical characteristics of these 2 groups.
The endoscope non-traversable group (Group B) revealed an advanced clinical stage, a poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) score, a lower serum albumin level, a higher rate of requirement for esophageal stent insertion and definitive CRT as initial treatment than the endoscope traversable group (Group A). Patients with endoscope traversable cancer showed a significantly higher 3-year overall survival and 3-year relapse-free survival than patients who were endoscope non-traversable (53.8% vs 17.3%, P < .001 and 71.1% vs 45.3%, P = .003, respectively). Upon multivariate analysis of patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma treated with definitive CRT, the serum albumin level <3.5 g/dL and endoscopic non-traversability were significant negative factors of survival.
Endoscopic traversability in patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma treated with definitive CRT is a significant prognostic factor.