Post-Chemoradiation Surgical Pathology Stage Can Customize the Surveillance Strategy in Patients With Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

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Current algorithms for surveillance of patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) after chemoradiation and surgery (trimodality therapy [TMT]) remain empiric. The authors hypothesized that the frequency, type, and timing of relapses after TMT would be highly associated with surgical pathology stage (SPS), and therefore SPS could be used to individualize the surveillance strategy. Between 2000 and 2010, 518 patients with EAC were identified who underwent TMT at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and were frequently surveyed. Frequency, type, and timing of the first relapse (locoregional and/or distant) were tabulated according to SPS. Standard statistical approaches were used. The median follow-up time after esophageal surgery was 55.4 months (range, 1.0-149.2 months). Disease relapse occurred in 215 patients (41.5%). Higher SPS was associated with a higher rate of relapse (0/I vs II/III, P≤.001; 0/I vs II, P=.002; SPS 0/I vs III, P≤.001; and SPS II vs III, P=.005) and with shorter time to relapse (P<.001). Irrespective of the SPS, approximately 95% of all relapses occurred within 36 months of surgery. The 3- and 5-year overall survival rates were shorter for patients with a higher SPS than those with a lower SPS (0/I vs II/III, P≤.001; 0/I vs II, P≤.001; 0/I vs III, P≤.001; and II vs III, P=.014). The compelling data show an excellent association between SPS and frequency/type/timing of relapses after TMT in patients with EAC. Thus, the surveillance strategy can potentially be customized based on SPS. These data can inform a future evidence-based surveillance strategy that can be efficient and cost-effective.

Correspondence: Jaffer A. Ajani, MD, Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard (FC10.3022), Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: jajani@mdanderson.org
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