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INTRODUCTION: This study evaluated the treatment of proximal (cervical or upper thoracic) esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), for which chemoradiation is the recommended therapy.METHODS: Treatment and outcomes of patients with cT1-3N0-1M0 proximal esophageal SCC in the National Cancer Database between 2004 and 2016 was evaluated using logistic regression, Kaplan-Meier analysis, and propensity-score matching.RESULTS: Therapy of 2159 patients was chemoradiation (n=1500, 69.5%), no treatment (n=205, 9.5%), surgery (n=203, 9.4%), radiation alone (n=190, 8.8%), and chemotherapy alone (n=61, 2.8%). Factors associated with definitive therapy with either chemoradiation or surgery were younger age, non-Black race, being insured, cervical tumor location, clinical T2 and T3 stage, clinical nodal involvement, and treatment at a research/academic program. Five-year survival was significantly better in patients treated with definitive therapy than patients not treated definitively (34.0% vs. 13.3%, p<0.001). In multivariable survival analysis, receiving definitive therapy (hazard ratio [HR] 0.39, p=0.017) was associated with improved survival, while increasing age, male sex, clinical T3 stage, positive clinical nodal involvement, and increasing Charlson Comorbidity Index were associated with worse survival. Esophagectomy was not associated with improved survival in multivariable analysis of the definitive therapy cohort (HR 0.84, p=0.08) or propensity matched analysis. However, the pathologic complete response was only 33.3% (40/120) for patients who did have an esophagectomy after chemoradiation.CONCLUSIONS: This national analysis supports definitive chemoradiation for not only cervical but also proximal thoracic esophageal SCC. Routine surgery does not appear to be necessary but may have a role in patients with residual disease after chemoradiation.
View details for DOI 10.1245/s10434-022-12683-x
View details for PubMedID 36305985