Article Abstract

Impact of pathological complete response following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in esophageal cancer

Authors: Tamer Soror, Gerlinda Kho, Kuai-Le Zhao, Mahmoud Ismail, Harun Badakhshi


Background: Neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy (nRCT) followed by surgery has become the gold standard treatment in patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer. The pathological response is an important predictor in such patients. This work represents a single-center analysis investigating the impact of pathological complete response (pCR) on treatment outcome.
Methods: All patients treated with nRCT followed by surgery between January 2005 and December 2015 were reviewed. The patients were categorized into two groups according to the pathological response following nRCT: pCR group and non-pCR group.
Results: Fifty-six patients with invasive cancer, 23 patients (41.1%) achieved pCR and 33 patients had non-pCR (58.9%) following nRCT. The average age was 62 years (±9.1), and most patients were males (83.9%). Histological types included squamous cell carcinoma (75%) and adenocarcinoma (25%). The total radiation dose was 45 Gy in 76.8% of the patients and 50.4 Gy in 23.2%. The median overall survival (OS) of the entire group was 3.5±1.2 years, and the 5-year OS rate was 38.2%, while the median disease-free survival (DFS) was 2.1±0.4 years and the 5-year DFS rate was 33.1%. The patients who achieved pCR had significantly higher 5-year OS and 5-year DFS rates: 47.2% and 48% compared to 27.3% and 21% for the non-pCR patients respectively (P=0.04, 0.03). The median time of local recurrence was 3.8±0.4 years in pCR group and 1.8±0.2 years in non-pCR group (P=0.01), while the median time of distant metastases in pCR group was 1.2±0.5 years and 1.1±0.2 years in non-pCR group (P=0.6).
Conclusions: Complete pathological response predicts significantly higher rates of OS and DFS in patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer treated with nRCT followed by surgery.