Background: Neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy (nCCRT) is one of the standard-of-care options for locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (LA-ESqCC). The optimal interval between nCCRT and esophagectomy is unknown. Methods: We constructed a propensity-score-matched [1:1 for long (8-12 weeks) vs short (4-7 weeks) intervals] cohort of LA-ESqCC patients who were diagnosed from 2011 to 2015 and treated with nCCRT via the Taiwan Cancer Registry and related databases. We compared the hazard ratios (HRs) of death using a robust variance estimator. We also evaluated alternative covariables, outcomes, and interval definitions. Results: Our study population included 80 patients for each group; groups were balanced with respect to the observed covariables. There was no significant difference for the HR of death [1.22; 95% confidence interval 0.78-1.91, P = 0.39] when the long interval group was compared to the short interval group. There were also no significant differences when alternative covariables, outcomes, or interval definitions were evaluated. Conclusions: In this population-based study in modern Asia, we found that for LA-ESqCC patients treated with nCCRT and esophagectomy, overall survival was similar for either long or short intervals between nCCRT and esophagectomy. Randomized controlled trials are needed to verify this finding.
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