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J Gastrointest Surg. 2010 Feb;14 Suppl 1:S94-100. doi: 10.1007/s11605-009-1025-1. Epub 2009 Sep 16.

Evaluation and treatment of superficial esophageal cancer.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.



Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is the fastest increasing cancer in the USA, and an increasing number of patients are identified with early-stage disease. The evaluation and treatment of these superficial cancers differs from local and regionally advanced lesions.


This paper is a review of the current methods to diagnose, stage, and treat superficial esophageal adenocarcinoma.


Intramucosal adenocarcinoma can be effectively treated with endoscopic resection techniques and with less morbid surgical options including a vagal-sparing esophagectomy. However, submucosal lesions are associated with a significant risk for lymph node metastases and are best treated with esophagectomy and lymphadenectomy.


There has been a major shift in the treatment for Barrett's high-grade dysplasia and superficial esophageal adenocarcinoma in the past 10 years. New therapies minimize the morbidity and mortality of traditional forms of esophagectomy and in some cases allow esophageal preservation. Individualization of therapy will allow maximization of successful outcome and quality of life with minimization of complications and recurrence of Barrett's or cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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