Persistent Dysphagia After Induction Chemotherapy in Patients with Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Predicts Poor Post-Operative Outcomes.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of gastrointestinal cancer (2016)


PURPOSE: Preoperative therapy is frequently employed in the management of esophageal adenocarcinoma. However, many patients are found to have advanced pathologic stage and have poor outcomes. A prognostic factor which identifies this patient population before surgery would be desirable, as alternative treatment strategies may be warranted.

METHODS: Between 2/08 and 1/12, 60 evaluable patients with locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinoma enrolled in single-arm phase II trial of induction chemotherapy, surgery, and post-operative adjuvant chemo-radiotherapy (CRT). A clinical stage of T3, N1, or M1a (AJCC 6th) was required for eligibility. Induction chemotherapy with epirubicin 50 mg/m(2) d1, oxaliplatin 130 mg/m(2) d1, and fluorouracil 200 mg/m(2)/day continuous infusion for 3 weeks, was given every 21 days for 3 cycles and was followed by surgical resection. Adjuvant CRT consisted of 50-55 Gy @ 1.8-2.0 Gy/day and 2 cycles of cisplatin (20 mg/m(2)/day) and fluorouracil (1000 mg/m(2)/day) given as 96-h infusions during weeks 1 and 4 of radiotherapy. Dysphagia was assessed at baseline and after induction chemotherapy.

RESULTS: Persistent dysphagia was associated with worse distant metastatic control [HR 3.48 (1.43-8.43), p = 0.006], recurrence free survival [HR 3.04 (1.34-6.92), p = 0.008], and overall survival [HR 3.31 (1.43-7.66), p = 0.005]. Persistent dysphagia was associated with more advanced pathologic T descriptor (pT) (p = 0.048) and N descriptor (pN) (p = 0.002), a greater median number of involved lymph nodes (3 v 1, p = 0.003), and greater residual tumor viability (p = 0.05). No patients with persistent dysphagia had pT0-T2 or pN0 disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Persistent dysphagia after induction chemotherapy is associated with more advanced pathologic stage and inferior outcomes.