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Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2013 Jul;22(3):511-24. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Chemoradiation therapy: localized esophageal, gastric, and pancreatic cancer.

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Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Chemoradiation plays an important role in management of locally advanced gastrointestinal tumors. This article reviews data regarding chemoradiation for tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract. For esophageal and gastroesophageal junction cancers, chemoradiation is standard of care in the preoperative setting. In gastric cancer, 2 standards have emerged: definitively treating with perioperative chemotherapy alone and using chemoradiation postoperatively. For pancreatic cancer, the benefit of radiation is less well defined. The future of treatment sites lies in trials evaluating new chemotherapy regimens, alternative systemic therapies, and different radiation fractionation schema. Because care of these patients is complex, multimodality team evaluation before treatment is encouraged.

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