Preoperative radiochemotherapy for resectable localised oesophageal cancer: a controversial strategy.
ABSTRACT Preoperative chemoradiation (P-CRT) remains a controversial strategy in the treatment of squamous cell cancer (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (ADC) of the oesophagus. Until recently, randomised studies mixed the two, often without any distinction. In randomised studies involving exclusively SCC, P-CRT increases the rate of local control, R0 resection, pCR and disease-free survival. The absence of any impact on overall survival may be linked to the toxic effects of this treatment. Meta-analyses have revealed a survival benefit of approximately +13% at 2 years. However, the methodology used was perhaps questionable. Five randomised trials involving ADC patients compared P-CRT with surgery alone. The results were contradictory with insufficient statistical power in selected positive studies to answer this issue once and for all. P-CRT is unsatisfactory as a standard treatment. Although local control rates were increased with P-CRT, it should be considered only for selected patients in selected centres.