Oesophageal carcinoma reflects a tumor entity which can be optimally treated with multimodal therapy. Early lymphatic spread and late symptoms lead to mostly advanced tumors at primary diagnosis, which means that they can not be cured by surgery alone. On the other hand these tumors show high sensitivity towards chemo- and radiotherapy. Chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery (trimodal therapy) is considered an international standard of care for operable patients. Definitive chemoradiotherapy or the flexible concept of chemoradiotherapy with optional salvage surgery can be curative options for patients with increased operative risk.