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101 oesophageal cancers: a surgeon uses radiotherapy.

By R. J. Earlam and L. Johnson


One hundred and one consecutive patients with oesophageal cancer, cancer of the cardia and gastric cancer extending upwards from the stomach to the oesophagus were treated from 1979 to 1985 with a policy that included radiotherapy treatment for 58. This heterogeneous group, which was considered together as oesophageal cancer, was subdivided according to anatomical location, histology and pretreatment staging. Those patients who could be treated surgically by a resection and anastomosis performed below the diaphragm were excluded. Thirty-five had surgery which was either an oesophagogastrectomy or oesophagojejunostomy with an intrathoracic anastomosis, except for two who were nonresectable. Eight patients were to ill or refused treatment. The role of radiotherapy was assessed in three groups: i. Operable squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus was treated by radical radiotherapy (22) with a 46% 1-year and 14% 5-year survival. ii. Inoperable squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus was given radical or palliative radiotherapy (25) with a 16% 1-year and 4% 5-year survival. iii. Non-resectable adenocarcinoma of the stomach or oesophagus was treated palliatively by radiotherapy to debulk the intraluminal tumour (11), all of whom had symptomatic relief of dysphagia. The results of radical radiotherapy for operable squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus were similar to the best results achieved by surgical resection in other series in which there is comparable staging. Radiotherapy should be included in the treatment options for oesophageal cancer

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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