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Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2013. doi: 10.1200/EdBook_AM.2013.33.e155.

Unanswered questions in the management of gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma: an overview from the medical oncologist's perspective.

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  • 1From the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Abstract

Patients with gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma have multiple treatment options; however, are victims of lack of consensus and wide variation in treatment, sometimes within the same hospital. While there is a consensus that surgery alone is inadequate for locally advanced disease, locoregional treatment has become the point for debate. Only in 2010 was the reclassification of GEJ cancers as esophageal cancers. Treatment options remain as varied as the classification of GEJ cancers: preoperative chemoradiotherapy, definitive chemoradiation, perioperative chemotherapy, and resection followed by postoperative chemoradiation. Several studies have examined the varying treatment paradigms; however, many fall short due to methodology or sample size. The MAGIC study determined perioperative chemotherapy to be an acceptable standard treatment option for patients with gastric cancer, althouth a significant portion of enrolled patients had distal esophageal and GEJ adenocarcinoma. The CROSS study concluded combination chemotherapy and radiation before resection beneficial. Preoperative therapy in cases of GEJ is beneficial for survival, but not as much impact is seen as in esophageal SCC, which exhibits an increased sensitivity to CRT. There is concurrence with two phase III studies from Japan and Korea on the role of adjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer. However, the applicability of these studies to GEJ adenocarcinoma remains a question, especially with the significantly different epidemiology of increased proximal and GEJ tumors in the West compared to Asia. To move forward with this increasingly prevalent disease, we will need to do more than understand the multiple treatment paradigms-we will need to select a strategy and examine it.

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