Endoscopic Management of Esophageal Cancer After Definitive Chemoradiotherapy
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Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is a potentially curative non-surgical option for locally advanced esophageal cancer, with pathological complete response (CR) ranging from 13 to 49 %. The rate of persistent and recurrent disease within the esophagus remains high at 40–60 %, and treatment of these tumors may improve disease-free survival. The aim of this review is to assess the efficacy of salvage endoscopic therapies for recurrent esophageal cancer.
Medline and Embase were searched for relevant studies published in the English-language literature that reported use of endoscopic modalities, including photodynamic therapy (PDT), endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), and spray cryotherapy, as salvage therapies for esophageal cancer.
A total of 12 studies were identified. In small case series of PDT, CR varied from 20 to 100 %, with 1-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates of 65–80, 34–47, and 36 %, respectively. Data from three studies of EMR in squamous cell cancer show CR in 50 % of cases, with 3- and 5-year overall survival of 56–81 and 49 %, respectively. Endoscopic spray cryotherapy has recently been used in this setting with an observed CR of 37.5 %.
Endoscopic salvage therapies are options for those patients with disease limited to the superficial esophageal wall and those who are unfit to undergo salvage esophagectomy. Widespread application of endoscopic salvage therapies is limited by the lack of awareness and guidelines for endoscopic surveillance post-CRT and limited data on the effectiveness of endoscopic therapies.
KeywordsEsophageal cancer Salvage therapies Photodynamic therapy Endoscopic mucosal resection Cryotherapy
Definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy
Endoscopic mucosal resection
Fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography
Fine needle aspiration
Positron emission tomography
Standardized uptake value
The authors thank James Barthel, MD for his comments and review of the manuscript.
Conflict of interest
Dr. Greenwald is a consultant for and serves on a medical advisory board for CSA Medical, Inc, the manufacturer of a spray cryotherapy device and has received research funding from CSA Medical, Inc. Dr. Khangura has received no research funding and has no conflicts of interest.
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