The objective of this study is to determine the feasibility and report the outcome of patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer treated with preoperative or definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) using intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Between 2003 and 2007, 30 patients with non-cervical esophageal cancer received concurrent chemotherapy and IMRT at Stanford University. Eighteen patients were planned for definitive CRT and 12 were planned for preoperative CRT. All patients had computed tomography-based treatment planning and received IMRT. The median dose delivered was 50.4 Gy. Patients planned for preoperative CRT underwent surgery 4–13 weeks (median 8.3 weeks) following completion of CRT. Median follow-up of surviving patients from start of RT was 24.2 months (range 8.2–38.3 months). The majority of tumors were adenocarcinomas (67%) and poorly differentiated (57%). Tumor location was 7% upper, 20% mid, 47% lower, and 27% gastroesophageal junction. Actuarial 2-year local-regional control (LRC) was 64%. High tumor grade was an adverse prognostic factor for LRC and overall survival (OS) (P= 0.015 and 0.012, respectively). The 2-year LRC was 83% vs. 51% for patients treated preoperatively vs. definitively (P= 0.32). The 2-year disease-free and OS were 38% and 56%, respectively. Twelve patients (40%) required feeding tube placement, and the average weight loss from baseline was 4.8%. Twelve (40%) patients experienced grade 3+ acute complications and one patient died of complications following feeding tube placement. Three patients (10%) required a treatment break. Eight patients (27%) experienced grade 3 late complications. No grade 4 complications were seen. IMRT was effective and well tolerated. Disease recurrence remains a challenge and further investigation with dose escalation to improve LRC and OS is warranted.