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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to report the outcome of radio(chemo)therapy in the curative management of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We retrospectively analyzed 163 patients with T1-T4, N0-1, M0 ESCC who were treated between January 1988 and December 2006 at the Technische Universität München. One hundred sixty patients were inoperable due to a poor performance status, comorbidities or locally advanced unresectable disease. External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) was performed with (n= 146) or without (n= 17) systemic chemotherapy. Fifty-four patients received an additional boost with intraluminal brachytherapy (IBT). Surviving patients were followed for a median of 72 months (range 10-173 months). The estimated overall survival (OS) at 2 and 5 years was 27 ± 4% and 11 ± 3%, respectively. Loco-regional recurrence at the primary site was observed in 29% of patients (n= 47). The recurrence-free survival (RFS) at 2 and 5 years was 24 ± 3% and 9 ± 2%, respectively. In multivariate analyses, the ECOG performance status (P= 0.004), 3D conformal (vs conventional) radiotherapy (P= 0.031) and continuous standard fractionation (vs split-course radiotherapy, P= 0.048) were associated with a better OS. Simultaneous chemotherapy (P= 0.49) or IBT (P= 0.31) had no significant impact on survival. Outcome for patients with ESCC is poor. Despite the very unfavorable patient selection (poor performance status, high rate of comorbidities, and advanced disease), long-term survival with radio(chemo)therapy was achieved in about 10% of patients. The introduction of modern treatment techniques/modalities (3D conformal planning/ continuous standard fractionation) might be associated with better outcomes.
Diseases of the Esophagus 09/2011; 25(3):256-62. · 1.64 Impact Factor