Locally advanced esophageal cancer: What becomes of 5-year survivors?

Galal Ghaly, Mohamed Kamel, Abu Nasar, Subroto Paul, Paul C. Lee, Jeffrey L. Port, Paul J. Christos, Brendon M. Stiles, Nasser K. Altorki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective To determine the long-term outcomes of patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer (LAEC) who underwent esophagectomy and survived at least 5 years, and the predictors of disease-free survival (DFS) beyond 5 years. Methods This was a retrospective review of a prospective database to identify patients with clinical stage T2N0M0 or higher LAEC. Medical records were reviewed to obtain demographic, clinical, and pathological characteristics, as well as data on recurrence and survival. Multivariable analysis of predictors of DFS beyond 5 years was performed using a Cox regression model. Results Between 1988 and 2009, 355 of 500 patients underwent esophagectomy for cT2N0M0 or higher disease. Of these 355 patients, 126 were alive and disease-free at the 5-year follow-up, for an actuarial 5-year DFS of 33%. Recurrent esophageal cancer developed in 8 patients after 5 years. Among the 126 surviving patients, the actuarial overall survival was 94% at 7 years and 80% at 10 years. On multivariable analysis, the sole significant predictor of DFS after the 5-year time point was non-en bloc resection at the original operation (P =.006). Pulmonary-related deaths accounted for 10 out of 22 noncancer deaths. A second primary cancer developed in 23 of the 126 surviving patients. Conclusions Prolonged survival can be obtained in one-third of patients with LAEC. An en bloc resection at the original operation is the most significant predictor of prolonged survival. Survivors experience a high rate of second primary cancer and an apparently high rate of deaths from pulmonary disease. Careful follow-up is necessary for these patients, even after the 5-year mark.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-732
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • disease-free survival
  • en bloc resection
  • esophageal cancer
  • recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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