The frontline of esophageal cancer treatment: questions to be asked and answered
Achieving a good treatment for esophageal cancer is a great challenge. For early stage cancer, endoscopic treatment is considered the first line and a possible curative therapy. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery are all used for the treatment of locally advanced esophageal cancer, administered either alone or combined. Some combinations have proven to be feasible, effective, and superior, such as neoadjuvant chemoradiation (CRT) plus surgery in the Chemoradiotherapy for Oesophageal Cancer Followed by Surgery Study (CROSS) trial. However, other strategies such as perioperative chemotherapy or definitive chemoradiation also have demonstrated substantial effectiveness. The current article addresses the following questions: (I) how can a choice between different multi-modality treatments be made; (II) is there enough evidence to compare the merits of the different strategies; and (III) is there any new evidence to improve the current practice. Moreover, in this article, existing evidence for treatment strategies for locally advanced esophageal cancer have been reviewed.