Background: The prognostic significance of cardiac radiation dose in esophageal cancer after definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) remains largely unknown. We aimed to investigate the association between cardiac dose-volume parameters and overall survival (OS) in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) after definitive CCRT. Methods: One hundred and twenty-one ESCC patients undergoing definitive CCRT with intensity modulated radiotherapy technique between 2008 and 2018 were reviewed. Cardiac dose-volume parameters were calculated. Survival of patients and cumulative incidence of adverse events were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared between groups by the log-rank test. The prognostic significance of cardiac dose-volume parameters was determined with multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Results: Median follow-up was 16.2 months (range, 4.3-109.3). Median OS was 18.4 months. Heart V5, V10, and V20 were independent prognostic factors of OS. Median OS was longer for patients with heart V5 ≤ 94.3% (24.7 vs. 16.3 months, p = 0.0025), heart V10 ≤ 86.4% (24.8 vs. 16.9 months, p = 0.0041), and heart V20 ≤ 76.9% (20.0 vs. 17.2 months, p = 0.047). Lower cumulative incidence of symptomatic cardiac adverse events was observed among patients with heart V5 ≤ 94.3% (p = 0.017), heart V10 ≤ 86.4% (p = 0.02), and heart V20 ≤ 76.9% (p = 0.0057). Patients without symptomatic cardiac adverse events had a higher 3-year OS rate (33.8% vs. 0%, p = 0.03). Conclusions: Cardiac radiation dose inversely correlated with survival in ESCC after definitive CCRT. Radiation dose to the heart should be minimized.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging