Clinical relevance of histologic subtypes in locally advanced esophageal carcinoma treated with pre-operative chemoradiotherapy: Experience of a monographic oncologic centre

PLoS One. 2017 Sep 20;12(9):e0184737. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184737. eCollection 2017.


Background: Locally advanced esophageal carcinoma (LAEC) represents less than 30% of all diagnosed esophageal carcinoma worldwide. The standard of care for resectable tumours consists of preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by surgery. Despite the curative intent, the prognosis is still poor mainly due to relapse. A multidisciplinary approach is required in order to optimize the therapeutic strategy and follow-up. Differences in outcomes between the two main histological subtypes, adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), have been reported. Nevertheless, the heterogeneity in trials design and data available have hampered the achievement of clear conclusions. The purpose of this study is to report the outcomes from a cohort of patients with LAEC treated with a multidisciplinary approach and to remark the differences observed between the two main histologic subtypes and their clinical implications.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 100 patients diagnosed with LAEC that were treated with preoperative CRT at our institution and integrated centres. Histopathological characteristics and toxicities during treatment were recorded. Patterns of recurrence at the first relapse were analysed. Survival curves were plotted using the Kaplan Meier method and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used.

Results: Among the patients who received preoperative CRT, 83% underwent surgery. The median overall survival (mOS) was 31.7 months, 26.9 months for ADC and 45.5 for SCC (p-value = 0.33). In the multivariate Cox regression analysis, ypN+ was the only factor that negatively influenced in OS (OR = 4.1, p-value = 0.022). Patterns of recurrence differed according to histologic subtype. Distant relapse was more frequent in ADC (62%), whereas locoregional relapse was higher in SCC (50%) (p-value = 0.027). Second line therapeutic strategies could be offered to 50% of those patients who relapsed.

Conclusions: Differences in outcomes and recurrence pattern could be observed between the two main histologic subtypes of LAEC. A better molecular characterization, adapted therapeutic regimens and follow up strategies should be adopted in order to improve survival of these patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Chemoradiotherapy*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Preoperative Care
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Survival Rate

Grant support

This work was supported by Fondo de investigaciones Sanitarias del Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spanish Ministry of Health. Cofounded by European Regional Development Funds (ERDF/FEDER) ‘a way to build Europe’., ISCIII PI16/00599.