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Bing-Yen Wang, Ping-Yi Lin, Shiao-Chi Wu, Hui-Shan Chen, Po-Kuei Hsu, Chih-Shiun Shih, Chao-Yu Liu, Chia-Chuan Liu and Yao-Li Chen

The prognostic value for the post-chemoradiation therapy (CRT) pathologic stage is uncertain. The purpose of this study was to compare the pathologic stage in patients undergoing esophagectomy with and without preoperative CRT for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). This study retrospectively reviewed the data from 2151 patients with ESCC who underwent esophagectomy with or without preoperative CRT between 2008 and 2011 in Taiwan. Patients were divided into 2 groups. Group A consisted of patients treated with primary surgery without prior treatments (n=1301), and group B consisted of patients receiving preoperative CRT followed by esophagectomy (n=850). In group A, 679 patients received surgery alone, 92 received postoperative chemotherapy, 416 received postoperative chemoradiation therapy, and 114 received postoperative radiation therapy. In group A, the 3-year survival rates by pathologic stage were 82.2% for stage 0, 67.6% for stage I, 50.7% for stage II, 21.5% for stage III, and 14.8% for stage IV (P<.001). In group B, the 3-year survival rates of post-CRT pathologic stages 0, I, II, III, and IV were 59.4%, 46.0%, 40.3%, 19.1%, and 8.2%, respectively (P<.001). In multivariate analysis, the pathologic T, N, and M were all independent prognostic factors in both group A (esophagectomy alone) and B (CRT plus esophagectomy). The current, 7th edition of the esophageal TNM staging system could adequately stratify prognostic groups in patients with squamous cell carcinoma who were treated with preoperative CRT and esophagectomy.