Chemotherapy and radiation therapy before transhiatal esophagectomy for esophageal carcinoma

Mark B. Orringer, Arlene A. Forastiere, Claudia Perez-Tamayo, Susan Urba, Bonnie J. Takasugi, Judith Bromberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Recent efforts to improve survival in patients with esophageal carcinoma have combined both systemic and local therapy. From October 1985 to October 1987, 43 patients with local-regional esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma in 21, squamous cell in 22) were treated with cisplatin, vinblastine, and 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy concurrent with 4,500 cGy radiation therapy for 21 days before transhiatal esophagectomy 3 weeks later. Two patients died of chemotherapy/radiation therapy toxicity. Forty-one completed preoperative chemotherapy/radiation therapy. At operation, 2 patients had incurable metastatic disease; 39 underwent transhiatal esophagectomy. Eleven patients had no residual tumor in the resected specimen for a 27% (11 of 41) pathological complete response rate. Preoperative chemotherapy/radiation therapy resulted in no increased perioperative morbidity as compared with our historical controls. One patient died postoperatively of an unrecognized brain metastasis (2% operative morbidity). At a median follow-up of 27 months, 20 patients (47%) are alive and clinically disease-free and 21 have died, 19 from progression of their carcinoma. The median survival time for all 43 patients is 29 months (Kaplan-Meier estimate), and cumulative survival is 72% at 12 months, 60% at 24 months, and 46% at 36 months. All 11 patients with a complete response are alive at a median follow-up of 36 months, and all are disease-free. The 2-year survival of 60% of this group as compared with 32% in our earlier patients treated with transhiatal esophagectomy alone suggests that intensive combined modality therapy improves survival in these patients. A randomized prospective trial is now in progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemotherapy and radiation therapy before transhiatal esophagectomy for esophageal carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this