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BACKGROUND: Performing selective esophagectomy for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma may spare patients morbidity, but delayed surgery may infer higher risks. This study evaluated the impact of length of time between chemoradiation and esophagectomy on perioperative outcomes and long-term survival.METHODS: The impact of surgical timing, stratified by surgery performed < 180 and = 180 days from starting radiation, on perioperative outcomes and survival in patients treated with chemoradiation and esophagectomy for cT1N + M0 and cT2-4, any N, M0 squamous cell carcinoma of the mid-distal esophagus in the National Cancer Database (2006-2016) was evaluated with logistic regression, Kaplan-Meier curves, Cox proportional-hazards methods, and propensity-matched analysis.RESULTS: Median time between starting radiation and esophagectomy in 1641 patients was 93 (IQR 81-114) days. Most patients (96.8%, n = 1589) had surgery within 180 days of starting radiation, while 52 patients (3.2%) had delayed surgery. Black race and clinical T stage were associated with delayed surgery. Rates of pathologic upstaging, downstaging, complete response, and positive margins were not significantly different between the groups. Patients with delayed surgery had increased major morbidity as measured by a composite of length of hospital stay, readmission, and 30-day mortality [42.3% (22/52) vs 22.3% (355/1589), p = 0.001]. However, delayed surgery was not associated with a significant difference in survival in both univariate [5-year survival 32.8% (95% CI 21.1-50.7) vs 47.3% (44.7-50.1), p = 0.19] and multivariable analysis [hazard ratio (HR) 1.23 (0.85-1.78), p = 0.26].CONCLUSIONS: Delaying surgery longer than 180 days after starting chemoradiation for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma is associated with worse perioperative outcomes but not long-term survival.
View details for DOI 10.1245/s10434-022-12980-5
View details for PubMedID 36572807