Background/Aims: Endoscopic resection is a standard treatment for stage T1a esophageal cancer, with esophagectomy or radical radiation therapy (RT) performed for stage T1b lesions. This study aimed to compare treatment outcomes of each modality for clinical stage T1 esophageal cancer. Methods: In total, 179 patients with clinical T1N0M0- stage esophageal cancer treated from 2006 to 2016 were retrospectively evaluated. Sixty-two patients with clinical T1astage cancer underwent endoscopic resection. Among 117 patients with clinical T1b-stage cancer, 82 underwent esophagectomy, and 35 received chemoradiotherapy or RT. We compared overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates for each treatment modality. Results: The median follow-up time was 32 months (range, 1 to 120 months). The 5-year OS and RFS rates for patients with stage T1a cancer receiving endoscopic resection were 100% and 85%, respectively. For patients with stage T1b, the 5-year OS and RFS rates were 78% and 77%, respectively, for the esophagectomy group; 80% and 44%, respectively, for the RT alone group; and 96% and 80%, respectively, for the chemoradiation group. The esophagectomy group showed significantly higher RFS than the RT alone group (p=0.04). There was no significant difference in RFS between the esophagectomy and chemoradiation groups (p=0.922). Grade 4 or higher treatment-related complications occurred in four patients who underwent esophagectomy. Conclusions: ndoscopic resection appeared to be an adequate treatment for patients with T1a-stage esophageal cancer. The multidisciplinary approach involving chemoradiation was comparable to esophagectomy in terms of survival outcome without serious complications for T1b-stage esophageal cancer.
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