Background: Locally advanced and metastatic Barrett's carcinomas account for the majority of this tumor entity at the time of diagnosis. Many studies have shown that a multimodal therapy concept consisting of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by resection can result in improved long-term survival in patients responding to chemotherapy. The benefit of a multimodal therapy concept in patients with stage IV disease remains unclear.
Methods: A total of 178 patients with Barrett's carcinoma who underwent multimodal therapy with resection of the tumor were reviewed. The pathological staging and the clinical course of patients with metastatic disease, who were treated equally, were compared to patients with locally advanced tumors.
Results: As expected, postoperative pathological staging showed that patients with metastatic disease have a more advanced T- and N-status. Moreover, the histopathological response according to Becker showed a chemoresistence in 84% of cases with metastatic disease, whereas 54% of patients with locally advanced carcinomas had a good response rate. Overall survival was poor, with 9 months in the metastatic group.
Conclusions: This is the first study to compare the outcome of a modern multimodal therapy concept in patients with metastatic Barrett's carcinoma in comparison to patients with the locally advanced form of the disease. There are profound differences in the two groups with regard to survival time and response rates. Because of the poor outcome to date, multimodal therapy with resection of the tumor in stage IV disease cannot be recommended.