Research Papers:

Treatment of esophageal cancer with radiation therapy: a pan-Chinese survey of radiation oncologists

Yun Zhang, Jing Liu, Wencheng Zhang, Weiye Deng and Jinbo Yue _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:34946-34953. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16858

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Yun Zhang1,2,*, Jing Liu3,*, Wencheng Zhang4, Weiye Deng5,6, Jinbo Yue2

1School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan, Shandong, China

2Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China

3Graduate Education Center, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan, Shandong, China

4Tianjin Cancer Hospital, Tianjin, China

5Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA

6Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jinbo Yue, email: [email protected]

Keywords: esophageal cancer, radiation therapy, radiation oncologist, questionnaire

Received: February 08, 2017     Accepted: March 28, 2017     Published: April 05, 2017


Lots of controversies were found about the treatment in relation to radiation therapy (RT) for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We designed a questionnaire of these controversies to do a pan-Chinese survey of radiation oncologists (ROs). For operable ESCC, 53% ROs chose surgery plus postoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT), while 40% chose preoperative CRT plus surgery. For target volume of postoperative RT, most ROs (92%) would delineate tumor bed plus involved lymph nodes region before surgery. For definitive RT, most ROs (81%) would give patients higher RT dose to 60–65Gy. For radiation target volume, most ROs would give patients prophylactic irradiation of the bilateral superclavicular-lymph nodes region for cervical ESCC (93%), and the left gastric lymph nodes region for lower thoracic ESCC (72%). For the treatment of mediastinal lymph nodes, 72% ROs preferred elective nodal irradiation, while 28% did the involved nodal irradiation. For concurrent chemotherapy regimen, PF (5-Fu + cisplatin) and TP (cisplatin + paclitaxel) were used widely (49% and 46%, respectively). During simulation, four-dimensional computer tomography (4D CT) was not widely used (48%), even for cervical or lower thoracic ESCC (52%). For daily RT delivery, only 66% ROs would perform imaging guidance RT daily. In summary, more controversies existed in the treatment of ESCC with RT in China, including treatment strategy, radiation dose and target contour. Future goals include standardization of treatment strategy, radiation dose, and target contour, and application of 4D CT and daily imaging guidance, and pursuit of randomized trials in Chinese population.

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