Background: Treatment for oesophageal cancer has evolved due to developments including the centralisation of surgery and introduction of neoadjuvant treatment. Therefore, this study evaluated trends in stage distribution, treatment and survival of oesophageal cancer patients in the last 26 years in the Netherlands. Patients and methods: Patients with oesophageal cancer diagnosed in the period 1989–2014 were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Patients were divided into two groups: non-metastatic (M0) and metastatic (M1). Trends in stage distribution, treatment and relative survival rates were evaluated according to histology. Results: Among all 35,760 patients, the percentage of an unknown tumour stage decreased from 34% to 10% during the study period, whereas the percentage of patients with metastatic disease increased from 21% to 34%. Among surgically treated patients 32% underwent a resection in a high-volume hospital in 2005 which increased to 92% in 2014. Use of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy increased in non-metastatic oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) and squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients from respectively 4% and 2% in 2000–2004 to 43% and 26% in 2010–2014. Five-year relative survival increased from 8% to 22% for all patients; from 12% to 36% for non-metastatic OAC and from 9% to 27% for non-metastatic OSCC over 26 years. Median overall survival of metastatic patients improved from 18 to 22 weeks. Conclusion: In the Netherlands, survival for oesophageal cancer patients improved significantly, especially in the period 2005–2014 which might be the result of better treatment related to the centralisation of surgery and introduction of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.

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European Journal of Cancer
Department of Public Health

van Putten, M., de Vos-Geelen, J., Nieuwenhuijzen, G., Siersema, P., Lemmens, V., Rosman, C., … Verhoeven, R. (2018). Long-term survival improvement in oesophageal cancer in the Netherlands. European Journal of Cancer, 94, 138–147. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2018.02.025