Introduction: Our purpose was to assess the efficacy of radiation therapy in the treatment of locoregional recurrence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma recurrence after curative resection.
Methods: Patients with local esophageal squamous cell carcinoma recurrence who were treated at the Cancer Prevention and Treatment Center of Sun Yat-sen University from January 1990 to December 2002 and whose initial treatment was complete surgical resection (N = 152) were included. Of the 152 patients, 60 patients received treatment with radiation therapy, and the others did not receive radiation. None of the included patients received chemotherapy or radiotherapy before surgery. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate the cumulative survival rate.
Results: The median survival time was 16.0 ± 2.7 months for those who received radiotherapy versus 6.5 ± 1.6 months for those who did not (P < 0.001). The median survival time was greater (22.3 ± 4.0 months) for patients who receive a dosage greater than 50 Gy compared with those patients who received a dosage of 50 Gy or less (7.7 ± 0.3 months; P = 0.033). The overall 3- and 5-year survival rates were 16.4% and 10.4%, respectively. The 1-, 2-, and 3- year recurrence-free survival rates were 56.1 ± 4.3%, 32.9 ± 4.1%, and 22.0 ± 3.7%, respectively.
Conclusion: Radiotherapy may help improve the survival rate in patients with local esophageal squamous cell carcinoma recurrence after complete surgical resection who have no history of radiotherapy.