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Neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for resectable esophageal cancer: is there a standard of care?

Review article
Almhanna K, et al. Cancer Control. 2013.


BACKGROUND: Carcinoma of the esophagus is an aggressive and lethal disease with an increasing incidence worldwide. Despite changes in the treatment approach over the past two decades and even following complete resection, most patients will eventually relapse and die as a result of their disease. Several clinical trials evaluated different modalities in treating locally advanced esophageal cancer; however, because of stage migration and the changes in disease epidemiology, applying these trials to clinical practice has become a daunting task.

METHODS: We searched Medline and conference abstracts for randomized studies published in the past three decades. We restricted our search to articles published in English.

RESULTS: Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by surgical resection is an accepted standard of care in the United States for patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer. Esophagectomy remains an essential component of treatment and can lead to improved overall survival, especially when performed at high-volume institutions. The role of adjuvant chemotherapy following curative resection in patients who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiation remains unclear.

CONCLUSIONS: Several questions still need to be answered regarding the use of neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy for patients with resectable esophageal cancer. The optimal chemotherapy regimen has not yet been identified for these patients, although newer therapies show promise.


23571699 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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