Predictive factors of the response to chemoradiotherapy in esophageal cancer


Background: The aim of this study was to identify factors predictive of a complete endoscopic/histopathological response to chemoradiotherapy in patients with esophageal cancer.

Patients: Clinical and histopathological factors (Ki67, p53 and EGFR expression) were studied in 56 patients presenting with esophageal cancer between September 2000 and March 2006 (35 squamous cell carcinomas, 20 adenocarcinomas, one undifferentiated carcinoma). The response to chemoradiotherapy was evaluated endoscopically and by histological examination in 16 patients who underwent surgical resection.

Results: Independent factors predictive of a complete endoscopic response were good performance status (RR=15.75; CI: 1.74-142.58; P=0.01) and overexpression of Ki67 (RR=4.46; CI: 1.08-18.31; P=0.04). In patients who underwent surgery, a major histopathological response was associated with complete endoscopic response (P<0.01), complete CT-scan response (P=0.04) and good performance status (WHO=0) (P=0.04). The mean survival was 40 months. Adenocarcinoma histology (RR=3.18, CI: 1.13-8.54; P=0.02) and an impaired performance status (RR=4.79; CI: 1.07-21.41; P=0.04) were independently associated with poor survival.

Conclusion: In the present study, good performance status and overexpression of Ki67 were two independent factors for complete endoscopic response after chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer. Independent risk factors for poor survival were adenocarcinoma histological type and impaired performance status. Further prospective studies are necessary to complete the present results.