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Zentralbl Chir. 2004 Oct;129(5):350-5.

[Preoperative chemoradiation in esophageal cancer: experience of a single center in 102 patients].

[Article in German]

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Chirurgische Klinik, Abteilung Allgemein- und Viszeralchirurgie mit Poliklinik, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg.


The (dis-)advantages of preoperative chemoradiation in patients with esophageal cancer (EC) are still controversial as data are lacking showing a clear cut benefit. Therefore, data of neoadjuvant therapy of our hospital have been analyzed. Since 1994 102 patients with an EC (33 % adenocarcinoma, 67 % squamous cell cancer, scc) were operated after receiving preoperative chemoradiation (36 Gy radiation, 1.8 Gy/day for 4 weeks, 500 mg/m (2) 5-FU for 4 weeks and 20 mg/m (2) Cisplatin, day 1-5, week 1 and 4). Operation was performed usually 8-10 weeks after treatment start. In 11.7 % of patients with an adenocarcinoma a complete pathological response (CR, pT0N0M0) was observed and a pT0 stage in 20.6 %. 38.2 % of these patients were staged as pN0. Postoperative morbidity was observed in 66 % (anastomotic leakage in 20 %, recurrent nerve palsy in 23 %). In-hospital mortality was 5.9 %. 5-year survival was calculated as 30.5 %, in patients wit a CR 66 %.26.5 % of patients with a scc revealed a CR. However no effect at all was observed in 32 % of these patients. 56 % were staged as pN0. Postoperative morbidity was observed in 87 % (anastomotic leakage in 16 %, recurrent nerve palsy in 32 %). In-hospital mortality was 11.8 %. 5-year survival was calculated as 19.2 %, in patients with a CR 45 %. The impact of pN stage was significant (p = 0.0052). These results underline the benefit of neoadjuvant therapy in patients with a CR. Further on, a pN0 stage is an important prognostic indicator. However, it remains open, whether neoadjuvant therapy leads to a downstaging of lymph node involvement, as histological confirmation in clinically positive lymph node is seldom performed prospectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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