Predictive factors in the evaluation of treatment response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in patients with advanced esophageal squamous cell cancer
Neoadjuvant therapy before esophagectomy is evidence-based, and is a standard-of-care for locally advanced and operable esophageal cancer. However response to such treatment varies in individual patients, from no clinical response to pathological complete response. It has been consistently shown that a good pathological responses is of prognostic value, but perhaps in the expense of those who do not. It is important to identify suitable predictive factors for response, so that patients are not exposed to potentially harmful chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy without benefits. Alternative management strategies can be devised. Various clinical, radiological, serological and potential molecular markers have been studied. None has been shown to be sufficiently reliable to be used in daily practice. Certainly more understanding of the molecular basis for response to chemotherapy/radiotherapy is needed, so that patient treatment can be tailored and individualized.