Adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction (AE and GE) are uncommon neoplasms with a poor prognosis. AE or GE are usually analyzed as part of the larger group of carcinomas in patients with either epidermoid carcinoma of the esophagus or with gastric cancer. The prognostic variables and outcome of therapy for patients with AE and GE alone have not been well described. The records of 131 patients treated at Memorial Hospital during the period 1978 to 1982 were reviewed. The majority underwent surgery as their primary therapy. Clinical staging was found to be highly inaccurate, with almost all patients having Stage III disease at surgery. Operative mortality was 7.1%. Adjuvant chemotherapy did not appear to influence survival. Treatment of advanced disease with either conventional or investigational agents yielded modest objective response rates. Prognostic variables for those presenting with locoregional disease who were candidates for potentially curative surgery were analyzed. Only the presence or absence of weight loss and location of the primary tumor (AE versus GE) were significant variables. A model for predicting survival was employed.