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Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014;20(3):237-42. Epub 2012 Dec 26.

Successful chemoradiotherapy for small-cell carcinoma of the esophagus in an octogenarian Japanese woman: report of the oldest case and review of long-term survival cases.

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Department of Surgery II, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, Oita, Japan.


Small-cell carcinoma of the esophagus (SCCE) is a rare and rapidly progressive malignant tumor with an extremely unfavorable prognosis. We report a case of long-term survival and review similar cases in the literature. An 84-year-old Japanese woman visited a clinic complaining of tarry stools. Type-1 tumor was detected in the left posterior wall of the middle thoracic esophagus on endoscopic examination, and the pathological diagnosis following immunohistochemical examination was SCCE. Chemoradiotherapy was adopted after taking the characteristics of poor prognosis, rapid progression, and patient age into consideration. Chemoradiotherapy comprised 56 Gy of irradiation over 43 days and two courses chemotherapy with cisplatin and vincristine. Therapeutic effect was evaluated as complete response after endoscopic examination and computed tomography at one month after treatment. No recurrence or metastasis has been identified as of more than five years after achieving complete response, with endoscopic examination every six months and computed tomography every three months. To date, long-term survival has only been reported in octogenarian patients with SCCE, and the present case describes the oldest patient for whom successful radical therapy has been reported.

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