Esophageal cancer located at the neck and upper thorax treated with concurrent chemoradiation: A single-institution experience

Shulian Wang, Zhongxing Liao, Yuan Chen, Joe Y. Chang, Melanda Jeter, Thomas Guerrero, Jaffer Ajani, Alexandria Phan, Stephen Swisher, Pamela Allen, James D. Cox, Ritsuko Komaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: To characterize the treatment and outcome of patients with cervical and upper thoracic esophageal cancer, the authors retrospectively reviewed the 11-year experience from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. METHODS: Thirty-five patients with M0 cervical or upper thoracic esophageal cancer and treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy were analyzed. Median radiation dose was 50.4 Gy (range, 24.5-64.8) Gy delivered with 1.8-Gy daily fractions over 5.5 weeks. Chemotherapy was 5-fluorouracil based. Response after treatment was evaluated on the basis of radiography, biopsy, or both. The survival rates were calculated by means of the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS: The median follow-up for the surviving patients was 39 months. The actuarial 5-year overall survival (OS), cause-specific survival, disease-free survival, local relapse-free survival, and distant metastasis-free survival rates were 18.6%, 27.6%, 22.4%, 47.7%, and 57.0%, respectively. Patients who received a radiation dose of greater than or equal to 50 Gy had a higher complete response rate than those who received less than 50 Gy (79.2% versus 27.3%; p = 0.003). On multivariate analysis, radiation dose was the only protective factor associated with the rates of OS (p = 0.006), cause-specific survival (p = 0.003), and local relapse-free survival (p = 0.001); tumor stage was the only factor associated with rate of disease-free survival (p = 0.007). CONCLUSION: Concurrent chemoradiotherapy is an effective treatment modality for patients with cervical and upper thoracic esophageal cancer. The authors' results suggest that a total radiation dose of 50 to 65 Gy with a concurrent chemotherapy regimen may improve local control and the OS rate in this rare type of esophageal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Cervical and upper thoracic
  • Concurrent chemoradiotherapy
  • Esophageal neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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