Medline: 2237085

Seminars in Surgical Oncology 6(5): 268-273, 1990.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery of cancer of the esophagus.

Kelsen DP, Bains M, Burt M


Neoadjuvant, or pre-operative, chemotherapy for esophageal cancer has become an area of increasing interest because of the failure of conventional therapy (surgery or radiation) to improve disease-free or overall survival. Several autopsy series have demonstrated that, in many symptomatic Western patients, esophageal cancer is a systemic disease. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy thus, in theory, allows a simultaneous attack on both the primary and metastatic disease. A number of single-arm, phase II multi-modality trials have been completed. Toxicities of chemotherapy, while substantial, have been tolerable. With careful attention to detail, operative morbidity and mortality has not been increased. Large-scale randomized trials, needed to evaluate the impact of this technique on disease-free and overall survival, have been designed and will shortly be activated. (32 Refs)

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