Management for patients with advanced T4 epidermoid carcinoma of the esophagus

Liang Shun Wang, Kwan Hwa Chi, Maw Hwa Hu, Huei Jyh Fahn, Min Hsiung Huang

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Available data concerning the treatment of patients with advanced T4 esophageal carcinoma are limited. A consecutive series of 42 patients with advanced T4M0 epidermoid carcinoma of the esophagus were studied from June 1987 to July 1992. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of various therapeutic modalities, and further evaluate the therapeutic options. The various therapeutic modalities included the following: Group 1, feeding jejunostomy or endoesophageal intubation, 6 patients; Group II, palliative subtotal esophagectomy only, 8 patients; Group III, bypass procedures without tumor resection, 9 patients; Group IV, nutritional support and then treatment with irradiation (n = 8) or concurrent radio-chemotherapy (n = 4), 12 patients; Group V, subtotal esophagectomy, followed by aggressive concurrent radiochemotherapy, 7 patients. The total prescribed irradiation dose was 60 Gy (10 Gy/5 fractions/week). A combination regimen of chemotherapy consisted of cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and leucovorin (PFL regimen). For the patients undergoing esophagectomy or bypass procedures (n = 24), the rates of operative complication and mortality were 45.8% and 25%, respectively. Side effects of adjuvant therapy (n = 24) consisted of main airway irritation (100%), mucositis or gastrointestinal symptoms (83.3%), hematologic toxicity (79.2%), esophagitis or gastric ulcer (62.5%), alopecia (37.5%), and pneumonia (20.8%). The mortality due to toxicity of adjuvant therapy was 21.1% (4/19 patients). The mean survival times for each of the different groups was 1.9 ± 0.5 months for Group I, 4.8 ± 1.6 months for Group II, 5.2 ± 1.2 months for Group III, 7.3 ± 2.0 months for Group IV, and 20.3 ± 2.5 months for Group V, respectively. Compared with patients of Groups I-IV, the Group V patients had a significantly superior one-year survival rate (P < 0.01). Our results demonstrated that esophagectomy followed by concurrent irradiation and PFL combination chemotherapy may provide a significant improvement in the quality of life and survival for appropriate patients with advanced T4M0 epidermoid carcinoma of the esophagus. Furthermore, more than one cycle of PFL regimen chemotherapy may result in a better prognosis. During the performance of such an aggressive treatment, the utmost care must be taken with the patient's nutrition and to prevent pulmonary complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • esophageal carcinoma
  • esophagectomy
  • radiochemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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