Research Papers:

Patterns of failure and clinical outcomes of definitive radiotherapy for cervical esophageal cancer

Lina Zhao, Yongchun Zhou, Yunfeng Mu, Guangjin Chai, Feng Xiao, Lina Tan, Steven H. Lin and Mei Shi _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:21852-21860. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15665

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Lina Zhao1,*, Yongchun Zhou1,*, Yunfeng Mu1, Guangjin Chai1, Feng Xiao1, Lina Tan1, Steven H. Lin2, Mei Shi1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, 710032, China

2Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Mei Shi, email: [email protected]

Steven H. Lin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: definitive radiotherapy, cervical esophageal cancer, failure pattern, prognostic factor, prophylactic irradiation

Received: September 20, 2016    Accepted: January 29, 2017    Published: February 24, 2017


Purpose: Because of the scarcity of cervical esophageal cancer (CEC), data for this disease entity is limited. We aim to evaluate the outcomes, prognostic factors and failure patterns of CEC treated by contemporary radiotherapy (RT).

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 86 CEC patients consecutively treated between 2007 and 2015 by definitive RT with or without concurrent chemotherapy. RT was mainly delivered with Intensity Modulated Irradiation Therapy (IMRT) or Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT). Statistical analyses were performed on survival, prognostic factors and failure patterns.

Results: The median follow-up time was 19.4 months. The 3-year overall survival (OS), local regional failure free survival (LRFFS), distant metastatic free survival (DMFS), and progression free survival (PFS) were 53.6%, 57.9%, 81.5% and 41.5%, respectively. Independent predictors for poorer OS were N stage, hoarseness and recurrent laryngeal nerve lymph node (RLN) involvement, and predictors for LRFFS were N stage and EQD2 (equivalent dose in 2 Gy fraction) to gross tumor volume (GTV), with ≥ 66Gy achieving local control of 94.7%. Patients receiving elective nodal irradiation (ENI) had better nodal regional control than those receiving involved field irradiation (IFI). 31 (36%) patients had treatment failure and 15 (17.4%), 8 (9.3%) and 14 (16.2%) patients had local, regional, and distant failure, respectively. 86.7% (13/15) local failures were within GTV, and supraclavicular region (62.5%, 5/8) was the most common regional failure site. No severe toxicities were observed.

Conclusions: Our results seem to indicate that good locoregional control might be achieved for CEC with adequate radiation dose and treatment planning approaches.

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