Background: Oesophageal carcinoma is a rare disease with often dismal prognosis. Despite multiple trials addressing specific issues, currently, many questions in management remain unanswered. This work aimed to specifically address areas in the management of oesophageal cancer where high level evidence is not available, performing trials is very demanding and for many questions high-level evidence will not be available in the forseeable future. Methods: Two experts of each national, oesophageal cancer research group from Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland were asked to provide statements to controversial issues. After an initial survey, further questions were formulated and answered by all experts. The answers were then discussed and qualitatively analysed for consensus and controversy. Results: Topics such as indications for PET-CT, reasons for induction chemotherapy, radiotherapy dose, the choice of definitive chemo-radiotherapy versus surgery in squamous cell cancer, the role of radiotherapy in adenocarcinoma and selected surgical issues were identified as topics of interest and discussed. Conclusion: Areas of significant controversy exist in the management of oesophageal cancer, mostly due to high-level evidence. This is not expected to change in the upcoming years.

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Radiation Oncology
Department of Medical Oncology

Putora, P. M., Bedenne, L., Budach, W., Eisterer, W., van der Gaast, A., Jäger, R., … Ruhstaller, T. (2015). Oesophageal cancer: Exploring controversies overview of experts' opinions of Austria, Germany, France, Netherlands and Switzerland. Radiation Oncology, 10(1). doi:10.1186/s13014-015-0418-4