Preoperative chemoradiation followed by transhiatal esophagectomy for carcinoma of the esophagus: Final report

Arlene A. Forastiere, Mark B. Orringer, Claudia Perez-Tamayo, Susan G. Urba, Marianna Zahurak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In 1990 we published the results of an intensive 3-week preoperative chemoradiation regimen for locoregional esophageal cancer that suggested improved survival compared with historical controls. We now report the long-term results at a median follow-up of 78.7 months. Patients and Methods; Forty-three patients with locoregional squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma of the esophagus or cardia were treated with fluorouracil (5-FU), cisplatin, and bolus vinblastine concurrent with radiation administered over 21 days. Transhiatal esophagectomy was performed on day 42. Results; Forty-one patients (95%) completed the preoperative treatment, and 36 (84%) had a potentially curative resection. Ten of 41 (24%) had no tumor in the resected esophagus and nodal tissues (path-negative group). The median survival duration of all 43 patients registered on study was 29 months; 34% were alive at 5 years. By histology, median survival durations were 32 months for 21 adenocarcinoma patients and 23 months for 22 squamous cell patients, with corresponding 5-year survival rates of 34% and 31%, respectively. Analysis of the 36 patients who underwent a potentially curative resection demonstrated median survival durations of 32 and 44 months and 5-year survival rates of 36% and 43%, respectively, for adenocarcinoma and squamous cell histologies. Path-negative (complete response [CR]) patients had a median survival duration of 70 months and 60% were alive at 5 years, while those patients with residual tumor in the resected esophagus had a median survival duration of 26 months and 32% were alive at 5 years (P = .114 by the log-rank test and P = .04 by the Wilcoxon test). Conclusion: The results of this regimen appear improved over those reported with surgery alone, with an approximate doubling of the 5-year survival rate. Thirty-two percent of patients with residual tumor in the esophageal specimen are long-term survivors, which suggests a benefit from esophagectomy. A randomized trial is in progress to compare this preoperative regimen with immediate surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1118-1123
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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