Comparison of therapeutic outcomes in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy: A prospective observational cohort study

Yu Wei Liu, Jui Ying Lee, Yao Kuang Wang, Yi Hsun Chen, Pen Tzu Fang, Shah Hwa Chou, Ming Huang Chen, Li Yuan Bai, Chia Jui Yen, Ming Tsang Wu, I. Chen Wu

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Abstract

Background: Patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) may not always receive resection despite the possible achievement of a pathologic complete response (pCR) being associated with superior survival benefit. We aimed to compare outcomes among ESCC patients with or without pCR and those refusing surgery. Methods: In total, 111 medically operable, non-cervical ESCC patients after the same protocol of nCRT (platinum/5-fluorouracil plus radiation 50Gy) were prospectively enrolled between 2011 and 2021. Eighty-three of them underwent esophagectomy comprising pCR (n = 32) and non-pCR (n = 51), while 28 operable patients declined surgery (refusal-of-surgery group). Predictors and survival data were analyzed. Results: In terms of esophagectomy, 38.5% (32/83) patients achieved pCR. The pCR group exhibited better pretreatment performance status than the non-pCR group (adjusted odds ratio: 0.11, 95% confidence interval: 0.03–0.58; p = 0.01). Among pCR, non-pCR, and refusal-of-surgery groups, the 5-year overall survival (OS) rates were 56%, 29% and 50% (p = 0.08) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 52%, 28% and 36% (p = 0.07) respectively. The pCR group had significantly better OS and PFS than the non-PCR group (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.33 and 1.93, p = 0.02 and 0.049 respectively) but not the refusal-of-surgery group. Conclusion: Better pretreatment performance status is associated with higher chance of pCR. Consistent with previous studies, we found attainment of pCR confers the best OS and PFS. Suboptimal OS in the refusal-of-surgery group reflects some of them would have residual disease in addition to complete remission. Further studies are needed to identify prognostic factors of pCR to select candidates who could validly decline esophagectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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