Long-term survivors of advanced esophageal cancer without surgical treatment: A multicenter questionnaire survey in Kyushu, Japan

Shoji Natsugoe, M. Ikeda, M. Baba, H. Churei, Y. Hiraki, M. Nakajo, T. Aikou

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Since the introduction of recent improvements in adjuvant therapy for esophageal cancer, some patients have demonstrated good prognosis. In the present study, we analyzed 3- and 5-year survivors of advanced esophageal cancer who did not undergo any surgical treatment. Between 1990 and 1998, 831 patients were admitted to 14 university hospitals and one cancer center associated with the membership of the Kyushu study group for adjuvant therapy of esophageal cancer. Twelve (1.4%) of the patients were 3-year survivors and 13 (1.6%) were 5-year survivors. The reasons for lion-operation were refusal (eight patients), tumor-related factors (11 patients), and host-related factors (six patients). With a single exception, all patients had locally advanced tumors. Almost all long-term survivors had fewer than five lymph node metastases, in regions limited to the neck and/or mediastinum. Radiation therapy was combined with chemotherapy for 16 of the 25 patients, and chemotherapy-based cisplatin was used for 15 of these 16 patients. Fifteen of the patients remain alive; 10 died seven of them from esophageal cancer. Chemoradiation therapy was effective for some patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer, particularly in the absence of or with few lymph node metastases. To improve the prognosis of patients with advanced esophageal cancer who, for various causes, cannot undergo surgical treatment, a new protocol for adjuvant therapy is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 27 2003



  • Chemotherapy
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Multicenter study
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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