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Impact of Chemoradiation-to-Surgery Interval on Pathological Complete Response and Short- and Long-Term Overall Survival in Esophageal Cancer Patients

Basem Azab MD, Julia R. Amundson MD, Omar Picado MD, Caroline Ripat MD, Francisco Igor Macedo MD, Dido Franceschi MD, Alan S. Livingstone MD, Danny Yakoub MD, PhD
Thoracic Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 3 / March , 2019



The impact of the neoadjuvant chemoradiation-to-surgery (CRT-S) interval in patients with esophageal cancer is not clear. We aimed to determine the relationship between CRT-S interval and pathological complete response rate (pCR) and overall survival (OS).


National Cancer Data Base patients with CRT followed by surgery were studied. CRT-S interval was studied as a continuous (weeks) and categorical variable (quintiles: 15–37, 38–45, 46–53, 54–64, and 65–90 days, with n = 1016, 1063, 1081, 1083, and 938 patients, respectively).


A total of 5181 patients were included; 81% had adenocarcinoma. There was a significant increase of pCR rate across quintiles (18%, 21%, 24%, 25%, and 29%, p < 0.001) and per week increase of CRT-S interval [odds ratio (OR) 1.11, p < 0.001]. The 90-day mortality increased as CRT-S increased across quintiles (5.7%, 6.2%, 6.8%, 8.5%, and 8.2%, p = 0.02) and through weeks (OR 1.05, p = 0.03). Mean OS across CRT-S quintiles was 36.4, 35.1, 33.9, 33.2, and 30.7 months, respectively. Multivariate Cox regression showed significantly worse OS per week increase in CRT-S interval [hazard ratio (HR) 1.02, p = 0.02], especially among the last quintile (CRT-S = 65–90 days: HR 1.2, p = 0.009). The squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and pCR groups had similar OS across CTR-S intervals.


Despite the higher pCR rate with longer CRT-S interval, surgery is optimal less than 65 days after CRT to avoid worse 90-day mortality and achieve better OS. In patients with SCC and those with pCR, prolonged CRT-S interval had no impact on OS. Further studies are needed to consolidate our findings.


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