Failure patterns correlate with the proportion of residual carcinoma after preoperative chemoradiotherapy for carcinoma of the esophagus

Authors


Abstract

BACKGROUND

The current study was conducted to test the hypothesis that patterns of failure are correlated with the degree of residual carcinoma after preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in patients with esophageal carcinoma.

METHODS

The authors analyzed the clinical characteristics of patients with carcinoma of the esophagus who underwent preoperative CRT. The residual carcinoma in the resected specimen was categorized into 3 groups (0%, 1–50%, and > 50%). The initial patterns of failure were analyzed according to these categories.

RESULTS

Of the 235 patients who underwent CRT, 69 (29%) achieved a pathologic complete response (pathCR; Group A), 109 patients (46%) achieved a response but it was less than a pathCR (1–50% residual carcinoma; Group B), and 57 (24%) had no response (> 50% residual carcinoma; Group C). The time to locoregional recurrence was significantly longer for Group A compared with Group C (P = 0.05). The rate of distant metastases was significantly lower in Groups A and B compared with Group C (14% in Group A, 29% in Group B, and 33% in Group C; P = 0.03). The distant metastases-free survival was found to be significantly longer in Groups A and B compared with Group C (Group A vs. Group B, P = 0.01; Group A vs. Group C, P < 0.0001; and Group B vs. Group C, P = 0.03). A significantly higher proportion of patients in the responding groups (Groups A and B) had no disease recurrence compared with Group C (81% in Group A, 67% in Group B, and 61% in Group C; P = 0.04). The overall survival and disease-free survival were found to be significantly longer in Groups A and B compared with Group C.

CONCLUSIONS

Data from the current study demonstrate that the proportion of residual carcinoma after preoperative CRT is significantly correlated with patterns of locoregional and distant failure. Future investigations should focus on reducing the proportion of residual carcinoma and metastatic disease progression in patients with esophageal carcinoma. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.

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