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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 20(4); 2002 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2002;20(4): 316-322.
The Role of Postoperative Adjuvant Radiotherapy in Resected Esophageal Cancer
Chang Geol Lee, Choong Bae Kim, Kyung Young Chung, Doo Yun Lee, Jinsil Seong, Gwi Eon Kim, Chang Ok Suh
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea. cglee1023@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
2Department of General Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yonsei Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE: A retrospective study was performed to evaluate whether postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy can improve survival and decrease recurrence as compared with surgery alone in resected esophageal cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
From Jan. 1985 to Dec. 1993, among 94 esophageal cancer patients treated with surgery, fifty-one patients were included in this study. Transthoracic esophagectomy was performed in 35 patients and transhiatal esophagectomy in 16. Postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy was performed 4 weeks after surgery in 26 among 38 patients in stage II and III. A total dose of 30~60 Gy in 1.8 Gy daily fraction, median 54 Gy over 6 weeks, was delivered in the mediastinum+both supraclavicular lymph nodes or celiac lymph nodes according to the tumor location. Forty-seven patients(92%) had squamous histology. The median follow-up period was 38 months.
RESULTS:
The overall 2-year and 5-year survival and median survival were 56.4%, 36.8% and 45 months. Two-year and 5-year survival and median survival by stage were 92%, 60.3% for stage I, 63%, 42% and 51 months for stage II and 34%, 23% and 19 months for stage III (p=0.04). For stage II and III patients, 5-year survival and median survival were 22.8%, 45 months for the surgery alone group and 37.8%, 22 months for the postoperative RT group (p=0.89). For stage III patients, 2-year survival and median survival were 0%, 11 months for the surgery alone group and 36.5%, 20 months for the postoperative RT group (p=0.14). Local and distant failure rates for stage II and III were 50%, 16% for the surgery alone and 39%, 31% for the postoperative RT group. For N1 patients, local failure rate was 71% for the surgery alone group and 37% for the postoperative RT group (p=0.19). Among 10 local failures in the postoperative RT group, in-field failures were 2, marginal failures 1, out-field 5 and anastomotic site failures2.
CONCLUSION:
There were no statistically significant differences in either the overall survival or the patterns of failure between the surgery alone group and the postoperative RT group for resected stage II and III esophageal cancer. But this study showed a tendency of survival improvement and decrease in local failure when postoperative RT was performed for stage III or N1 though statistically not significant. To decrease local failure, a more generous radiation field encompassing the supraclavicular, mediastinal, and celiac lymph nodes and anastomotic site in postoperative adjuvant treatment should be considered.
Key Words: Esophageal cancer, Surgery, Radiotherapy
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