The role of surgical treatment in isolated organ recurrence of esophageal cancer-a systematic review of the literature.

Journal Article (Systematic Review;Review;Journal Article)


Despite the improvements in the early detection and treatment of non-metastatic esophageal cancer, more than half of patients undergoing a curative treatment for esophageal cancer will develop recurrence within three years. The prognosis of these patients is poor. However, a wide range in overall survival has been reported, depending on the pattern of recurrence, and no optimal treatment strategy following recurrence has yet been uniformly accepted.


In this article, we aimed to systematically review the literature for the role of surgical resection of metachronous distant metastasis following primary treatment of esophageal cancer. Furthermore, we discuss possible factors that could possibly predict which patients may benefit from a surgical approach. A comprehensive literature search was conducted in PubMed using combinations of keywords.


Patients with recurrence may benefit of a multimodality treatment. Regarding the isolated recurrence of esophageal cancer in solid visceral organs, operative intervention has been proposed as a treatment that may offer a survival benefit in an individual basis. No definitive conclusions regarding the potential survival advantage offered by the surgical treatment of solitary recurrent lesions can be drawn. However, recent improvements in surgical treatment and optimization of perioperative management guarantee an acceptable operative risk, making surgical resection of solitary recurrence lesions a considerable therapeutic option.


It can be conferred from the available studies that the surgical treatment of isolated recurrence from esophageal cancer may offer a survival benefit for properly selected patients. Prospective, multicenter studies might be useful to gain a better insight into those factors that affect selection of patients to take benefit from an operative intervention.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schizas, D; Lazaridis, II; Moris, D; Mastoraki, A; Lazaridis, L-D; Tsilimigras, DI; Charalampakis, N; Liakakos, T

Published Date

  • March 14, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 55 -

PubMed ID

  • 29540179

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5853115

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1477-7819

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1477-7819

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s12957-018-1357-y


  • eng