Metastatic Esophageal Carcinoma: Prognostic Factors and Survival

J Gastrointest Cancer. 2022 Jun;53(2):446-450. doi: 10.1007/s12029-021-00610-4. Epub 2021 Apr 13.


Background: Worldwide, esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer-related death. At initial diagnosis, about 50% of esophageal cancer patients present with metastasis. The prognosis of metastatic esophageal cancer is poor with 5-year survival rate of less than 5%.

Methods: This is a retrospective study of stage IV esophageal cancer patients registered at Clinical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine department and Oncology Center Mansoura University in the period from 2009 to 2018 inclusive. Eligibility criteria were all pathologically proven stage IV esophageal cancer patients. The medical files of patients were reviewed.

Results: Most patients were ≥ 50 years (67.8%) with male predominance (76.7%). Middle third was the most common site of primary tumor (38.9%). Squamous cell carcinoma was more common with incidence of grade 3 (40%). T3-4 lesion was recorded in 61.1% and node positive in 66.7%. As regards metastasis; liver was the most common one (45.5%) followed by lung (30%). One-year survival rate was 25.6% with median survival time of 8 months. Multivariate analysis indicated that age (p = 0.03), site (p = 0.04), grade of primary tumor (p = 0.049), T classification (p = 0.0038), ECOG PS (p = 0.046), site (p = 0.026), and number of metastasis (p = 0.04) significantly affect prognosis while sex (p = 0.74) and histologic type (p = 0.94) do not.

Conclusion: Metastatic esophageal carcinoma is a disease of poor prognosis especially in patients with the following criteria: old age, lower third location, high grade and large tumors, poor performance status, multiple sites of metastasis and presence of bone secondaries.

Keywords: Esophageal cancer; Metastasis; Prognostic factors.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate