The Landmark Series: Multimodal Therapy for Esophageal Cancer

Ann Surg Oncol. 2021 Jun;28(6):3375-3382. doi: 10.1245/s10434-020-09565-5. Epub 2021 Feb 24.


Introduction: Esophagectomy is the mainstay of treatment for patients with resectable esophageal cancer, and chemotherapy and chemoradiation have become essential adjuncts to improve survival. Controversy remains regarding the optimal perioperative therapy.

Methods: This review focuses on three landmark, randomized, controlled trials that have greatly influenced esophageal cancer management and established chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy as standard of care: Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy Trial (MAGIC); The United Kingdom Medical Research Council Esophageal Cancer Trial (OEO2); and Chemoradiotherapy for Oesophageal Cancer Followed by Surgery Study (CROSS).

Results: The findings from these landmark studies are reviewed and summarized.

Conclusion: Chemotherapy regimens are heterogeneous but centered around platinum-based therapy and should be included in the management for all appropriate patients. Ongoing and future studies will further delineate the roles of various chemo- and chemoradiotherapy regimens and also will investigate the promising area of immunotherapy in the treatment of esophageal cancer.

Keywords: Adjuvant therapy; Chemotherapy; Esophageal cancer; Esophagectomy; Esophagogastrectomy; Neoadjuvant therapy; Radiation therapy; Review article.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Esophagectomy
  • Humans
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • United Kingdom