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Survival After Neoadjuvant Therapy Compared with Surgery Alone for Resectable Esophageal Cancer in a Population-based Study

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Abstract

Background

Esophagectomy remains the standard treatment for resectable esophageal cancer, but the cure rate is low. Neoadjuvant therapy has been tried in attempts to prolong survival and reduce tumor recurrence. The aim of this study was to assess the surgical outcomes with and without neoadjuvant treatment for resectable esophageal cancer in a population-based setting.

Methods

All 1,155 patients treated with esophagectomy for esophageal cancer in Sweden in 1987 through 2000 with or without neoadjuvant therapy were identified and followed up in nationwide registers up to 18 October 2004. Tumor characteristics and response to neoadjuvant treatment were obtained from histopathological reports. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) adjusted for potential confounding factors were calculated by a Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results

Overall survival was similar in the groups with and without neoadjuvant therapy (adjusted HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.86–1.16). The 3-year survival rates were 34.6% and 32.0%, respectively. Survival was better among the 27.6% of the neoadjuvant group with a complete histopathological response (HR 0.71, 95% CI 0.53–0.94) compared with the surgery only group. Patients without complete response to neoadjuvant therapy had seemingly poorer survival (HR 1.10, 95% CI 0.94–1.29).

Conclusions

Surgical outcomes with and without neoadjuvant therapy were equivalent. Only patients with a complete histopathological response after neoadjuvant treatment had better survival.

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Correspondence to Ioannis Rouvelas.

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Rouvelas, I., Zeng, W., Lindblad, M. et al. Survival After Neoadjuvant Therapy Compared with Surgery Alone for Resectable Esophageal Cancer in a Population-based Study. World J. Surg. 30, 2182–2190 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-006-0016-6

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