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Cancer. 2011 Mar 1;117(5):925-30. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25651. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Combined modality therapy of cT2N0M0 esophageal cancer: the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center experience.

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Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Treatment strategy for patients with adequately staged cT2N0M0 carcinoma of the thoracic esophagus is currently a subject of debate. This study analyzed the largest series of consecutive cT2N0M0 esophageal cancer patients treated with preoperative chemoradiotherapy.


Data from all patients with cT2N0M0 (assessment included endoscopic ultrasonography and computed tomography of the chest and abdomen) thoracic esophageal cancer who were treated with preoperative chemoradiation between 1997 and 2009 were analyzed. The Cox regression model and Kaplan-Meier plots were used to analyze the data.


Data from 49 patients were analyzed. The median follow-up was 28.46 months. Male sex and adenocarcinoma histology predominated. Pathologic complete response was observed 19 (39%) patients. The 10-year actuarial overall survival (OS) for adenocarcinoma patients was >60%. In the univariate analysis for OS, squamous histology (P = .006), smoking (P = .015), and alcohol consumption (P = .032) were found to be associated with poor OS. In the univariate analysis for disease-free survival (DFS), squamous histology (P = .009) and smoking (P = .014) were associated with poor DFS. In the multivariate analysis for OS, smoking was an independent prognosticator (P = .02). In the multivariate analysis for DFS, advanced pathologic stage (P = .05) and lymph node metastases (P = .006) were independent prognosticators. Patients with adenocarcinoma (P = .002) and those with pathologic N0 disease had better OS and DFS. Upward stage migration occurred in only 10% of patients.


These data suggest that smoking and alcohol influence the long-term outcome of patients with cT2N0M0 disease. Adenocarcinoma patients treated with trimodality therapy had an excellent actuarial 10-year OS and a high rate of pathologic complete response. Trimodality therapy should be prospectively compared with primary surgery in these patients.

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