[Multimodal therapy of esophageal cancer]

Z Gastroenterol. 2008 Oct;46(10):1207-13. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1027466. Epub 2008 Oct 20.
[Article in German]


Surgery is still the treatment of choice in patients with resectable oesophageal cancer. However, recent randomised controlled trials suggest beneficial effects of adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment modalities on progression-free and overall survival compared to surgery alone. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in combination with surgery is most effective in squamous cell carcinomas. Increased perioperative morbidity and mortality should be minimised by surgery in a high-volume centre. In adenocarcinomas of the gastro-oesophageal junction neoadjuvant chemotherapy shows beneficial effects compared to surgery alone. A transhiatal resection should be preferred in distal oesophageal cancer compared to a transthoracic oesophageal resection if the patient is in poor condition. In all other cases a transthoracic resection remains the procedure of choice. Chemoradiotherapy alone is an alternative to surgery in high-risk patients with squamous cell carcinomas of the oesophagus. Therefore the treatment of patients with oesophageal cancer should always include an individualised, multimodal approach including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / trends*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / trends*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / trends*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / trends*