Esophageal and Esophagogastric Junction Cancers, Version 2.2023, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology

J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2023 Apr;21(4):393-422. doi: 10.6004/jnccn.2023.0019.


Cancers originating in the esophagus or esophagogastric junction constitute a major global health problem. Esophageal cancers are histologically classified as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) or adenocarcinoma, which differ in their etiology, pathology, tumor location, therapeutics, and prognosis. In contrast to esophageal adenocarcinoma, which usually affects the lower esophagus, esophageal SCC is more likely to localize at or higher than the tracheal bifurcation. Systemic therapy can provide palliation, improved survival, and enhanced quality of life in patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. The implementation of biomarker testing, especially analysis of HER2 status, microsatellite instability status, and the expression of programmed death-ligand 1, has had a significant impact on clinical practice and patient care. Targeted therapies including trastuzumab, nivolumab, ipilimumab, and pembrolizumab have produced encouraging results in clinical trials for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. Palliative management, which may include systemic therapy, chemoradiation, and/or best supportive care, is recommended for all patients with unresectable or metastatic cancer. Multidisciplinary team management is essential for all patients with locally advanced esophageal or esophagogastric junction cancers. This selection from the NCCN Guidelines for Esophageal and Esophagogastric Junction Cancers focuses on the management of recurrent or metastatic disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma* / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma* / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Esophagogastric Junction / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / pathology
  • Quality of Life