Background: Esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs) are often accompanied by head and neck second primary tumors (HNSPTs). The prognosis of patients with an additional HNSPT is worse compared with patients with only ESCC. Therefore, early detection of HNSPTs may improve the overall outcome of patients with ESCC. The purpose of this study was to investigate the yield of endoscopic screening for HNSPTs in patients with primary ESCC. Methods: We conducted a systematic literature search of all available databases. Studies were included if ESCC patients were endoscopically screened for HNSPT. The primary outcome was the pooled prevalence of HNSPTs. Results: Twelve studies, all performed in Japan, were included in this systematic review with a total of 6483 patients. The pooled prevalence of HNSPTs was 6.7% (95% confidence interval: 4.9–8.4). The overall heterogeneity was high across the studies (I 2 ¼ 89.0%, p < 0.001). Most HNSPTs were low stage (85.3%) and located in the hypopharynx (60.3%). The proportion of synchronous (48.2%) and metachronous (51.8%) HNSPTs was comparable. Conclusion: Based on our results, HNSPT screening could be considered in patients with primary ESCC. All studies were performed in Japan; it is therefore not clear whether this consideration applies to the Western world.

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Keywords Cancer, endoscopy, esophagus, oncology, screening
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Journal United European gastroenterology journal
van de Ven, S.E.M., Bugter, O., Hardillo, J.A., Bruno, M.J, de Jong, R.J.M., & Koch, A.D. (2019). Screening for head and neck second primary tumors in patients with esophageal squamous cell cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. United European gastroenterology journal, 7(10), 1304–1311. doi:10.1177/2050640619856459