Background: Esophageal cancer is increasingly recognized in younger patients. We compared clinicopathological characteristics, treatment, and survival of patients aged ≤50 years with patients aged >50 years diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the Netherlands. Methods: From the nationwide Netherlands Cancer Registry we identified all patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer between January 2000 and January 2011. Proportions were compared using the χ2 test for categorical variables. Overall and relative survival was calculated. Results: Eleven percent of the patients (n=1,466) were aged ≤50 years and adenocarcinoma was the most common tumor type (73.6%). Grade of tumor differentiation was comparable between both age groups (P=0.460) as well as T-stage (P=0.058). Younger patients presented more often with positive lymph nodes (70.1% vs. 66.4%, P=0.010) and distant metastasis (50.5% vs. 44.7%, P<0.001) but had surgery more often as compared to older patients: 40.6% versus 37.9%, P=0.047. There was no significant difference in the 5-year relative survival between both age groups: 18.1% versus 17.2%, P>0.05. A subgroup analysis among patients diagnosed with adenocarcinoma revealed similar results. Conclusions: Young patients with esophageal cancer present with more advanced disease stage and received more often treatment. However, they show comparable relative survival rates with their older counterparts.

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Journal of Surgical Oncology
Department of Surgery

van Nistelrooij, A., van Steenbergen, L., Spaander, M., Tilanus, H., van Lanschot, J., Lemmens, V., & Wijnhoven, B. (2013). Treatment and outcome of young patients with esophageal cancer in the Netherlands. Journal of Surgical Oncology. doi:10.1002/jso.23533