The optimal treatment for oesophageal cancer is a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to describe patterns of care and survival in a well-defined population for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC) of the oesophagus.
Data were provided by the Digestive Cancer Registry of Burgundy (France). Recurrence, excess mortality and net survival were calculated.
Among non-metastatic patients, the proportion of patients resected for cure decreased between 2004 and 2013 from 16% to 9% for SCC and 48% to 22% for AC. The administration of chemoradiation increased from 45 to 53% for SCC and 21 to 30% for AC. A complete clinical response to chemoradiation was reported in 40% of the patients. Five-year net survival did not vary according to histology. It was 55% in the selected group of patients resected for cure, 44% in patients treated with chemoradiation with a complete clinical response. In multivariate analysis, treatment modality only was associated with survival. In metastatic patients, 3-year net survival was 14% for those treated with chemoradiation.
Chemoradiation has become the most frequently administered treatment. Cancelling or postponing surgery after chemoradiation with complete response should be assessed by a randomized clinical trial.