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Trends in survival based on treatment modality for esophageal cancer: a population-based study


Objectives — The primary objective was to examine the trends in treatment modalities and the respective survival rates for esophageal cancer in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Methods — This is a population-based study of all esophageal cancer cases diagnosed in Ontario between 2007 and 2015, including squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma, with known disease stage. Other characteristics include sex, age, date of diagnosis, and treatment modalities. Treatment modalities were classified as no-treatment, radiation only or chemotherapy only, chemoradiation, and surgical resection.

Results — In total, 2572 patients were identified with esophageal cancer from 2007 to 2015, of which 2014 (78.3%) were male. The mean age at diagnosis was 66.6 (SD = 11.7) years. Survival rate increased over time in patients who underwent chemoradiation or surgical resection but remained unchanged for the radiation-only or chemotherapy-only group and decreased for the no-treatment group. Survival considerably improved (15-20%) for patients with stages I-III disease.

Conclusions — The positive trends in the survival rate for esophageal patients could be due to adoption of multimodal therapy. Despite a lower proportion of advanced disease among patients over 80, they received less curative treatments compared with other age groups. Further studies are required to identify strategies to maximize survival for patients with stage IV disease, and patients 80 years and older.



Akhtar-Danesh N, Shakeel S, Seow H, Akhtar-Danseh GG, Finley C. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019; 31(10):1192-9. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

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