Despite advances in our knowledge of esophageal cancer, 50% of patients present with incurable disease, and the overall survival after diagnosis is poor. The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus is rising at a rapid rate in developed countries. Recent advances in the epidemiology of esophageal cancer offer insights into preventive strategies in patients who are at risk. New developments in diagnosis may help detect the disease at an early stage. New diagnostic modalities permit more accurate staging procedures and allow appropriate selection of therapy. New studies provide more information on multimodality therapy for esophageal cancer, and new endoscopic techniques allow resection of small lesions without surgery. New stent designs provide better palliation by providing tumor ingrowth. These developments in the treatment of esophageal cancer are the focus of this review.