Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) are the first-line treatments for superficial esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). This study aimed to compare long-term clinical outcome and oncological clearance between EMR and ESD for the treatment of superficial esophageal SCC.
We conducted a retrospective multicenter study in five French tertiary care hospitals. Patients treated by EMR or ESD for histologically proven superficial esophageal SCC were included consecutively.
Resection was performed for 148 tumors (80 EMR, 68 ESD) in 132 patients. The curative resection rate was 21.3 % in the EMR group and 73.5 % in the ESD group (P < 0.001). The recurrence rate was 23.7 % in the EMR group and 2.9 % in the ESD group (P = 0.002). The 5-year recurrence-free survival rate was 73.4 % in the EMR group and 95.2 % in the ESD group (P = 0.002). Independent factors for cancer recurrence were resection by EMR (hazard ratio [HR] 16.89, P = 0.01), tumor infiltration depth ≥ m3 (HR 3.28, P = 0.02), no complementary treatment by chemoradiotherapy (HR 7.04, P = 0.04), and no curative resection (HR 11.75, P = 0.01). Risk of metastasis strongly increased in patients with tumor infiltration depth ≥ m3, and without complementary chemoradiotherapy (P = 0.02).
Endoscopic resection of superficial esophageal SCC was safe and efficient. Because it was associated with an increased recurrence-free survival rate, ESD should be preferred over EMR. For tumors with infiltration depths ≥ m3, chemoradiotherapy reduced the risk of nodal or distal metastasis.