149 patients with carcinoma of the esophagus treated with radiotherapy were evaluated. Eighty-one patients had treatment with palliative intent and 68 with curative intent. The 4-year actuarial survival was 1 and 5% respectively. The tumor size, Karnofsky index (KI) and radiation dose were prognostic factors. The duration of palliation of the patients dysphagia was dose-dependent.