Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Treat Rev. 2011 Feb;37(1):11-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2010.04.006. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

The safety and effectiveness of endoscopic and non-endoscopic approaches to the management of early esophageal cancer: a systematic review.

Author information

Health Technology and Policy Unit, University of Alberta School of Public Health, Research Transition Facility, 8308 114 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2V2.



Traditionally, management of early cancer (stages 0-IIA) has comprised esophagectomy, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Recent efforts to improve outcomes and minimize side-effects have focussed on minimally invasive, endoscopic treatments that remove lesions while sparing healthy tissue. This review assesses their safety and efficacy/effectiveness relative to traditional, non-endoscopic treatments for early esophageal cancer.


A systematic review of peer-reviewed studies was performed using Cochrane guidelines. Bibliographic databases searched to identify relevant English language studies published in the last 3 years included: PubMed (i.e., MEDLINE and additional sources), EMBASE, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, the UK Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (NHS EED, DARE and HTA) databases, EconLit and Web of Science. Web sites of professional associations, relevant cancer organizations, clinical practice guidelines, and clinical trials were also searched. Two independent reviewers selected, critically appraised, and extracted information from studies.


The review included 75 studies spanning 3124 patients and 10 forms of treatment. Most studies were of short term duration and non-comparative. Adverse events reported across studies of endoscopic techniques were similar and less significant compared to those in the studies of non-endoscopic techniques. Complete response rates were slightly lower for photodynamic therapy (PDT) relative to the other endoscopic techniques, possibly due to differences in patient populations across studies. No studies compared overall or cause-specific survival in patients who received endoscopic treatments vs. those who received non-endoscopic treatments.


Based on findings from this review, there is no single "best practice" approach to the treatment of early esophageal cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Health
    Loading ...
    Support Center