Outcomes after trimodality therapy for esophageal cancer: The impact of histology on failure patterns

Matthew Koshy, Bruce D. Greenwald, Petr Hausner, Mark J. Krasna, Naomi Horiba, Richard J. Battafarano, Whitney Burrows, Mohan Suntharalingam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This retrospective analysis of patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by surgical resection was performed to determine if histology or pathologic response affected local-regional control (LRC), survival outcomes or patterns of failure. Methods: We performed a review of 164 patients who underwent neoadjuvant chemoradiation followed by surgical resection from 1992 to 2006 for esophageal cancer. Information on patient characteristics, pathologic response, failure patterns, and survival was collected. Survival was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method, and Cox multivariable Regression model was used to analyze trends. Results: The median follow-up was 18 months and 27 months in surviving patients. The 3-year overall survival (OS) and LRC was 46% and 79%. The overall response for the entire cohort included a pathologic complete response (pCR) rate of 41.4%, 21.3% with microscopic residual disease (mRD) and 36.3% with gross residual disease (gRD). The 3-year OS of patients who achieved a pCR versus mRD versus gRD was 58%, 53%, and 29%. OS was significantly improved in patients with a pCR and mRD compared with gRD (P = 0.001). On multivariate analysis both pCR and mRD correlated with an improved OS. Squamous cell cancers (SCC) had a higher rate of pCR than adenocarcinomas (AC), 54% versus 34.8% (P = 0.01). The 3 year LRC for patients with SCC and AC was 100% and 71% (P = 0.03). Among SCC with recurrence, there were no local failures and all failed distantly (P = 0.001). Conclusions: Patients with microscopic residual disease following trimodality therapy had similar outcomes to patients achieving a pCR. Patients with SCC were more likely to achieve a pCR, and had a higher propensity to fail distantly when compared with patients with AC. This data should be considered in the design of future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • esophageal
  • histology
  • neoadjuvant
  • pathologic response
  • trimodality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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