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To evaluate the efficacy of salvage radiochemotherapy (SRC) in patients with recurrent lymph node after radical surgery in esophageal cancer.This study enrolled 58 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma who underwent SRC for lymph node recurrence after radical surgery from August 2011 to November 2015 at our hospital. Survival rates were calculated by the Kaplan–Meier method with the log-rank test. Multivariate analysis was conducted using the Cox model.The overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates after radical surgery were 94.8%, 53.0%, and 29.6%, respectively. The 1- and 3-year survival rates after SRC were 68.7% and 26.9%, respectively. The major acute toxicities were esophagitis and neutropenia, while most toxicities were grade 1 or 2. There was no unexpected increase in serious adverse events or treatment-related deaths. The results of multivariate analysis showed that time to recurrence (odds ratio [OR]: 0.25, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.11–0.53, P = .0004), T stage (OR: 2.75, 95%CI: 1.16–6.49, P = .021), and prophylactic radiotherapy/chemotherapy (PRC, OR: 0.39, 95%CI: 0.16–0.98, P = .045) were determinants of postoperative overall survival, and PRC was the only factor affecting the outcome of SRC (OR: 0.28, 95%CI: 0.12–0.70, P = .006).SRC is an effective treatment for recurrent lymph node after radical surgery of esophageal cancer.