Purpose: To analyze recurrence patterns in patients with cancer of the esophagus or gastroesophageal junction treated with either preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) plus surgery or surgery alone. Patients and Methods: Recurrence pattern was analyzed in patients from the previously published CROSS I and II trials in relation to radiation target volumes. CRT consisted of five weekly courses of paclitaxel and carboplatin combined with a concurrent radiation dose of 41.4 Gy in 1.8-Gy fractions to the tumor and pathologic lymph nodes with margin. Results: Of the 422 patients included from 2001 to 2008, 418 were available for analysis. Histology was mostly adenocarcinoma (75%). Of the 374 patients who underwent resection, 86% were allocated to surgery and 92% to CRT plus surgery. On January 1, 2011, after a minimum follow-up of 24 months (median, 45 months), the overall recurrence rate in the surgery arm was 58% versus 35% in the CRT plus surgery arm. Preoperative CRT reduced locoregional recurrence (LRR) from 34% to 14% (P < .001) and peritoneal carcinomatosis from 14% to 4% (P < .001). There was a small but significant effect on hematogenous dissemination in favor of the CRT group (35% v 29%; P = .025). LRR occurred in 5% within the target volume, in 2% in the margins, and in 6% outside the radiation target volume. In 1%, the exact site in relation to the target volume was unclear. Only 1% had an isolated infield recurrence after CRT plus surgery. Conclusion: Preoperative CRT in patients with esophageal cancer reduced LRR and peritoneal carcinomatosis. Recurrence within the radiation target volume occurred in only 5%, mostly combined with outfield failures.

doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2013.51.2186, hdl.handle.net/1765/56439
Journal of Clinical Oncology
Department of Surgery

Oppedijk, V., van der Gaast, A., van Lanschot, J., van Hagen, P., van Os, R., van Rij, C., … Hulshof, M. (2014). Patterns of recurrence after surgery alone versus preoperative chemoradiotherapy and surgery in the CROSS trials. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 32(5), 385–391. doi:10.1200/JCO.2013.51.2186