Background/aims: Definitive chemoradiotherapy can have curative potential in unresectable patients with malignant stricture due to locally advanced esophageal carcinoma, however, dysphagia is the principal problem in patients who had recurrence or who did not respond to chemoradiotherapy. In this prospective study, we investigated the efficacy and feasibility of metallic stent implantation for patients with dysphagia after chemoradiotherapy failed.
Methodology: Concurrent chemoradiotherapy was performed in 40 patients with severe dysphagia due to esophageal squamous cell carcinomas accompanied by T3 or T4 disease containing M1 lymph node (LYM) disease. A self-expanding metallic stent was inserted for patients with malignant stricture of the thoracic esophagus after failure of chemoradiotherapy using identical protocols.
Results: Of 40 patients, 13 (33%) achieved a complete response. However, 12 patients complained of severe dysphagia again after chemoradiotherapy despite a good performance status. Esophageal stricture of these 12 patients was caused by stable disease (n = 4), local progression (n = 5), and compression of metastatic lymph node (n = 3). Metallic stents were successfully inserted for all 12 patients, and dysphagia improved in 10 (83%) of these 12 patients. Life-threatening complication (17%) of sepsis in two patients was found in an early phase after stent insertion, although approximately 200 days had passed in a dysphagia-free state after chemoradiotherapy.
Conclusions: Implantation of self-expanding metallic stent for patients with malignant stricture after failure of chemoradiotherapy is effective, however, serious complication can occur in the early phase.