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Dis Esophagus. 2011 Apr;24(3):172-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2010.01121.x. Epub 2010 Nov 12.

Outcomes from chemoradiotherapy for patients with esophageal cancer.

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Digestive Diseases, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK.


Chemoradiotherapy is a widely used alternative treatment to surgical resection in certain patient groups with early esophageal cancer. The aim of this study was to retrospectively assess toxicity and outcome of patients treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy for early esophageal cancer at one institution. A retrospective analysis of all patients treated with chemoradiotherapy between February 2000 and December 2008 at a single tertiary center was performed with documentation of treatment given, toxicities recorded, and follow-up and outcome data. Sixty-two patients received chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer. There were 20 males and 42 female patients with an average age of 68 years. Histology revealed adenocarcinoma in 28 patients and squamous cell carcinoma in 34 patients. All patients were staged with a computerized tomography scan, endoscopic ultrasound and positron emission tomography scan. Selection criteria for chemoradiotherapy were unfit for surgery, upper esophageal squamous carcinoma, unresectable primary tumor, or patient choice. The majority of the patients received a combination of cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy with 55 Gy in 25 fractions of radiotherapy. Grade 3 toxicities were recorded in 11% of the patients. Eleven patients suffered from local recurrence and a stent was required in nine patients. Radiation strictures occurred in 10 patients requiring dilation in four. Five patients required a radiologically inserted feeding gastrostomy. The median overall survival was 21 months. Patients with adenocarcinomas and those with squamous cell carcinoma had a similar median survival. Overall survival was 70% at 1 year, 48% at 2 years, and 26% at 3 years. This case series of patients treated with chemoradiation for localized esophageal cancer suggest a generally well-tolerated treatment with survival rates after chemoradiotherapy comparable with those seen with surgery.

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