Outcome of patients receiving radiation for cancer of the esophagus: results of the 1992-1994 Patterns of Care Study.
PURPOSE: A Patterns of Care Study examined the records of patients with esophageal cancer (EC) treated with radiation in 1992 through 1994 to determine the national practice processes of care and outcomes and to compare the results with those of clinical trials. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A national survey of 63 institutions was conducted using two-stage cluster sampling, and specific information was collected on 400 patients with squamous cell (62%) or adenocarcinoma (37%) of the thoracic esophagus who received radiation therapy (RT) as part of primary or adjuvant treatment. Patients were staged according to a modified 1983 American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system. Fifteen percent of patients had clinical stage (CS) I disease, 40% had CS II disease, and 30% had CS III disease. Twenty-six percent of patients underwent esophagectomy. Seventy-five percent of patients received chemotherapy; 84% of these received concurrent chemotherapy and radiation (CRT). RESULTS: Significant variables for overall survival in multivariate analysis include the use of esophagectomy (risk ratio [RR] = 0.62), the use of chemotherapy (RR = 0.63), Karnofsky performance status (KPS) greater than 80 (RR = 0.61), CS I or II disease (RR = 0.66), and facility type (RR = 0.72). Age, sex, and histology were not significant. Preoperative CRT resulted in a nonsignificantly higher 2-year survival rate compared with definitive CRT alone (63% v 39%; P =.11), whereas 2-year survival by planned treatment rather than treatment given was 47.7% for preoperative CRT and 35.4% for definitive CRT (P =.23). Definitive CRT compared with definitive RT alone resulted in significantly higher 2-year survival (39% v 20.6%; P =.027) and lower 2-year local regional failure (30% v 57.9%; P =. 0031). CONCLUSION: This study confirms the value of CRT in EC treatment. It indicates that the results obtained in practice settings nationwide are similar to those obtained in clinical trials and that KPS and the 1983 clinical staging system are useful prognostic indicators. The suggested value of esophagectomy and superiority of preoperative CRT over CRT alone in this study should be tested in a randomized trial.
Coia, LR; Minsky, BD; Berkey, BA; John, MJ; Haller, D; Landry, J; Pisansky, TM; Willett, CG; Hoffman, JP; Owen, JB; Hanks, GE
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