The role of surgery or definitive chemoradiotherapy in management of localized squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus - What is the verdict?

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2023 Oct:190:104111. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2023.104111. Epub 2023 Sep 1.


The management of squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) of esophagus has significantly changed over last decade with the development of newer surgical techniques such as endoscopic submucosal dissection for early superficial esophageal cancer and refinement of existing surgical techniques (e.g., Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy) that has been associated with an improvement in patient outcomes. The data from the pivotal CROSS study has established neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) as standard of care for patients with locally advanced disease progressing to esophagectomy Simultaneously, definitive chemoradiotherapy (dCRT) has emerged as an effective therapeutic modality with an added advantage of organ preservation. The present review focuses on reviewing the management of localized esophageal SqCC and exploring the evidence regarding the efficacy and caveats of different therapeutic modalities. One of the key objectives is to identify any specific features which may influence choosing a particular modality (e.g. surgery cf. dCRT) and definition of an appropriate evidence-based algorithm for management of early (superficial) and locally advanced SqCC of esophagus.

Keywords: Chemoradiotherapy; Esophageal cancer; Esophagectomy; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / therapy
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Esophagectomy
  • Humans