• Vol. 50 No. 7, 536–547
  • 15 July 2021

Outcomes of oesophageal cancer treated with neoadjuvant compared with definitive chemoradiotherapy



Introduction: We report outcomes of patients with oesophageal cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NACRT) plus surgery or definitive chemoradiotherapy (chemoRT) at our institution. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent chemoRT from 2005 to 2017. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS). Secondary outcomes were disease-free survival (DFS) and toxicities. Results: We identified 96 patients with median age of 64 years and squamous cell carcinoma in 82.3%. Twenty-nine patients (30.2%) received NACRT plus surgery, 67 patients (69.8%) received definitive chemoRT. Median follow-up was 13.5 months. The 3/5-year OS were 26.4%/13.4%, and 59.6%/51.6% in the definitive chemoRT and NACRT plus surgery groups, respectively. The 3/5-year DFS were 19.3%/12.3%, and 55.7%/37.2% in the definitive chemoRT and NACRT plus surgery groups, respectively. NACRT plus surgery significantly improved OS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.22–0.72, P<0.01) and DFS (subhazard ratio [SHR] 5.21, 95 CI 1.20–22.7, P=0.03). Multivariable analysis for OS in the definitive chemoRT group indicated stage (1–2 vs 3–4a; HR 2.17, 95% CI 1.15–4.11, P=0.02) and feeding tube (no tube versus tube; HR 1.85, 95% CI 1.00–3.43, P=0.05) as significantly associated with OS. The cumulative incidence of local recurrence was significantly higher in the definitive chemoRT group (SHR 5.21, 95 CI 1.2022.7, P=0.03). Nineteen patients (65.5%) had postoperative complications. Conclusion: NACRT plus surgery improved OS and DFS. However, in view of treatment-related complications, careful selection of patients is warranted. With the predominant histology of our cohort being squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), our results may be more relevant for those with SCC.

Oesophageal cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the world, with 572,034 new cases diagnosed in 2018, and is the 6th most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the predominant histological subtype. However, the incidence of adenocarcinoma has risen among the Western population due to the rising prevalence of central obesity and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

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