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Combined Modality Therapy of Localized Gastric and Esophageal Cancers

Prajnan Das, Norio Fukami, and Jaffer A. Ajani

Gastric and esophageal cancers continue to be a significant health problem. The incidence of proximal gastric and distal esophageal cancers has been increasing, especially in white men. Gastric and esophageal cancers have high rates of locoregional and distant failure, resulting in poor overall survival. Therefore, patients with gastric and esophageal cancer may benefit from combined modality therapy. Adjuvant chemoradiation has been shown to improve survival in gastric and gastroesophageal cancers in a phase III trial. In esophageal cancer, most randomized trials have not shown a survival benefit for preoperative chemotherapy or chemoradiation, although these approaches are widely used. This article reviews the role of staging, surgery, and adjuvant and preoperative therapies in the management of localized gastric and esophageal cancers.