, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 1993-1999
Date: 29 Dec 2012

Neoadjuvant Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy for Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer in a Single High-Volume Center

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Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is now considered the standard of care by many centers in the treatment of both squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a neoadjuvant CRT protocol, as regards pathological complete response (pCR) rate and long-term survival.


From 2003 to 2011, at Upper G.I. Surgery Division of Verona University, 155 consecutive patients with locally advanced esophageal cancers (90 SCC, 65 adenocarcinoma) were treated with a single protocol of neoadjuvant CRT (docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil with 50.4 Gy of concurrent radiotherapy). Response to CRT was evaluated through percentage of pathological complete response (pCR or ypT0N0), overall (OS) and disease-related survival (DRS), and pattern of relapse.


One hundred thirty-one patients (84.5 %) underwent surgery. Radical resection (R0) was achieved in 123 patients (79.3 %), and pCR in 65 (41.9 %). Postoperative mortality was 0.7 % (one case). Five-year OS and DRS were respectively 43 and 49 % in the entire cohort, 52 and 59 % in R0 cases, and 72 and 81 % in pCR cases. Survival did not significantly differ between SCC and adenocarcinoma, except for pCR cases. Forty-nine patients suffered from relapse, which was mainly systemic in adenocarcinoma. Only three out of 26 pCR patients with previous adenocarcinoma developed relapse, always systemic.


This study suggests that patients treated with the present protocol achieve good survival and high pCR rate. Further research is necessary to evaluate whether surgery on demand is feasible in selected patients, such as pCR patients with adenocarcinoma.