Chemo Timing Key in Esophageal Cancer Treatment

Chemo Timing Key in Esophageal Cancer Treatment
Chemo Timing Key in Esophageal Cancer Treatment. Credit | Getty images

United States: A recent study recommends that patients with advanced esophageal malignancies receive chemotherapy treatments both prior to and following tumor-removal procedures. Before and after chemo can help to reduce the risk of getting cancer and also help in reducing the effect of tumors.

Research Findings

For patients whose tumors can be surgically removed, “there is considerable disagreement as to whether giving all adjuvant [chemo] therapy upfront versus’ sandwich’ adjuvant therapy before and after surgery is the better standard of care,” according to researcher Dr. Jennifer Tseng of Boston Medical Center.

“This randomized clinical trial from Europe answers that question for patients similar to those in the trial: preoperative plus postoperative chemotherapy provides better outcomes,” stated the woman, who was not a part of the recent trial.

Results declared recently at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

Over 22,000 Americans are expected to receive an esophageal cancer diagnosis this year, and over 16,000 will pass away from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Men are affected by esophageal cancer far more frequently than women.

And over almost 22,000 Americans are expected to receive an esophageal cancer diagnosis this year and  almost 16,000 will definitely be passed away from the disease said the

American Cancer Society and according to the statistics men are more prone to esophageal cancer than women.

Impact of Chemotherapy Timing

There has been discussion about the appropriate timing of chemotherapy for esophageal cancer.

Dr. Jens Hoeppner of the University of Bielefeld in Detmold, Germany, served as the trial’s leader. His group treated 371 patients with esophageal malignancies that were large enough to be classified as progressed but had not yet migrated outside the esophagus. Surgery was performed on each patient to aid in the tumor’s removal.

Just before their surgery, around half of the patients had chemotherapy; the other half had chemotherapy both before and after their procedure.

Trial Details

The experiment, which tracked patients for an average of over 4.5 years after surgery, discovered that the “before-and-after” arm of the study had a lower death rate (3.2% vs. 5.6%, respectively) than the “before-only” arm.

According to the researchers the individuals who had chemotherapy both before and after surgery had a 30 percent of reduced chance of passing away at the three-year point than those who received chemotherapy alone and this really seems very promising and effective as this is something which has been studied by health professionals. Additionally, there was a higher chance of complete remission of the initial esophageal tumor in the before-and-after group.

Implications for Patient Care

Individuals who received chemotherapy twice on average lived for 66 months, but those who received chemotherapy solely before surgery only lasted for 37 months.

Hoeppner claims that the study demonstrates the need for chemotherapy both prior to and during surgery, “in order to optimize the chance of curing their tumors in the long term.”

These results should be regarded as preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed publication because they were presented at a medical convention.


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