Long-term survival based on pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy in esophageal cancer

Gregory Tiesi, Wungki Park, Meredith Gunder, Gustavo Rubio, Michael Berger, Bach Ardalan, Alan Livingstone, Dido Franceschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background Neoadjuvant treatment is standard for locally advanced esophageal cancer. However, whether the addition of radiation to neoadjuvant regimen improves survival remains unclear. The aim of this study was to compare survival in locally advanced esophageal cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy versus chemoradiation. Materials and methods A prospectively maintained database of esophagectomies (1999-2012) was analyzed. We identified 297 patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer that underwent either neoadjuvant chemotherapy (n = 231) or chemoradiation (n = 66) followed by esophagectomy. Pretreatment and pathologic staging were compared to assess response. Overall survival was recorded. Results Most patients in the chemotherapy and chemoradiation groups had pretreatment stage III disease (66.7% versus 65.2%; P = 0.44). Median follow-up was 79.3 and 64.9 mo for chemotherapy and chemoradiation cohorts, respectively. Complete response rate was higher in chemoradiation than chemotherapy groups (30.3% versus 13.8%; P < 0.001). Overall survival was similar between complete responders in both groups (median not reached versus 121.1 mo; chemotherapy versus chemoradiation). However, partial responders in the chemotherapy cohort had improved median survival (147.2 mo) versus those in the chemoradiation cohort (83.7 mo, P < 0.03). Within the chemotherapy-only group, partial responders had improved survival compared with nonresponders (P = 0.041); however, there was no difference in survival between partial and complete responders (P = 0.36). Conclusions In patients undergoing esophagectomy for locally advanced esophageal cancer, neoadjuvant chemotherapy was associated with an equivalent overall survival, when compared with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Adding neoadjuvant radiation may enhance complete response rates but does not appear to be associated with improved survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Esophageal neoplasm
  • Neoadjuvant treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term survival based on pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy in esophageal cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this