Background & aims: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for high-grade dysplasia (HGD) in Barrett's esophagus is a Food and Drug Administration-approved alternative to esophagectomy. Critical information regarding overall survival of patients followed up long-term after these therapies is lacking. Our aim was to compare the long-term survival of patients treated with PDT with patients treated with esophagectomy.
Methods: We reviewed records of patients with HGD seen at our institution between 1994 and 2004. PDT was performed 48 hours following the intravenous administration of a photosensitizer using light at 630 nm. Esophagectomy was performed by either transhiatal or transthoracic approaches by experienced surgeons. We excluded all patients with evidence of cancer on biopsy specimens. Vital status and death date information was queried using an institutionally approved Internet research and location service. Statistical analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards ratios.
Results: A total of 199 patients were identified. A total of 129 patients (65%) were treated with PDT and 70 (35%) with esophagectomy. Overall mortality in the PDT group was 9% (11/129) and in the surgery group was 8.5% (6/70) over a median follow-up period of 59 +/- 2.7 months for the PDT group and 61 +/- 5.8 months for the surgery group. Overall survival was similar between the 2 groups (Wilcoxon test = 0.0924; P = .76). Treatment modality was not a significant predictor of mortality on multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: Overall mortality and long-term survival in patients with HGD treated with PDT appears to be comparable to that of patients treated with esophagectomy.