Article Abstract

Advances in radiotherapy for esophageal cancer

Authors: Wei Deng, Steven H. Lin


Esophageal cancer is a common type of malignancy worldwide and usually requires multidisciplinary care. Radiotherapy plays an important part in management of the disease. During the past few years, researchers have made much progress about radiotherapy for esophageal cancer, which was revealed in every aspect of clinical practice. Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy remains the standard treatment for locally advanced esophageal cancer, whereas neoadjuvant chemotherapy appears to show less toxicities and non-inferior prognosis. What’s more, definitive chemoradiotherapy could be an option for non-surgical candidates and good responders to chemoradiotherapy. Advances in radiation techniques result in higher conformity, homogeneity, more normal tissue sparing and less treatment time. Promising prognoses and less toxicities were also seen in advanced techniques. As radiation dose higher than 50 Gy obtains better local control and survival, simultaneously integrated boost is designed to increase primary tumor dosage and keep prophylactic dose to subclinical areas. Elective nodal irradiation brings about better local control but do not show advantages in survival compared with involved field irradiation (IFI). As a trend, more tolerable chemoradiotherapy regimen would be taken into account in dealing with elderly patients.