Esophageal cancer (EC) remains one of the most common and aggressive diseases worldwide. This review discusses some debates in the modern management of the disease. Endoscopic procedures for early cancer (T1a−b) are now embedded in routine care and the challenge will be to more accurately select patients for endoscopic resection with or without adjuvant therapy. Perioperative multimodal therapies are associated with improved survival compared to surgery alone for locally advanced esophageal cancer. However, there is no global consensus on the optimal regimen. Furthermore, histological subtype (adenocarcinoma vs. squamous cell cancer) plays a role in the choice for treatment. New studies are underway to resolve some issues. The extent of the lymphadenectomy during esophagectomy remains controversial especially after neoadjuvant chemoradiation. The ideal operation balances between limiting surgical trauma and optimizing survival. Minimally invasive esophagectomy and enhanced recovery pathways are associated with decreased morbidity and faster recovery albeit there is no consensus yet what approach should be used. Finally, immune checkpoint inhibitors present promising preliminary results in the novel treatment of advanced or metastatic EC but their widespread application in clinical practice is still awaited.

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Chinese Journal of Cancer Research
Department of Surgery

Triantafyllou, T., & Wijnhoven, B. (2020). Current status of esophageal cancer treatment. Chinese Journal of Cancer Research, 32(3), 271–286. doi:10.21147/j.issn.1000-9604.2020.03.01