Severe complications in advanced esophageal cancer treated with radiotherapy after intubation of esophageal stents: a questionnaire survey of the Japanese Society for Esophageal Diseases.

A questionnaire survey was performed to evaluate the complications and prognosis of esophageal cancer treated with esophageal intubation before or during radiotherapy.
Clinical data were accumulated on a total of 47 patients treated at 17 institutions in Japan. Five patients had Stage II, 30 Stage III, and 11 Stage IV, and the stage was unknown in 1 patient. Covered expandable metallic stents were inserted in 30 patients, uncovered expandable metallic stents in 13, plastic or silicon prosthesis in 3, and an unknown type in 1 patient. Esophageal stenting was performed before the start of RT for 23 patients and during the course of RT for 24 patients. The reasons for the stenting were severe stricture in 32 patients (Group 1) and esophageal fistula in 15 patients (Group 2).
The most frequent toxicity was formation or worsening of esophageal fistulas in 13 patients (28%), followed by massive hematemesis or GI bleeding in 10 patients (21%). In total, 24 patients (51%), including 10 patients with possible treatment-related deaths (Grade 5), had nonhematologic toxicities of Grade 3-5. The interval from the start of RT to the nonhematologic toxicity ranged from 16 to 312 days (median 78). The incidence of toxicities was higher for Group 1 (59%) than for Group 2 (33%), although the difference was not statistically significant. The median survival time for those with Stage II-III and Stage IV was 5 and 3.5 months, respectively.
Patients with esophageal intubation before or during RT have a high risk of life-threatening complications, especially for those with severe esophageal stricture. Because long survival is expected for a substantial proportion of patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer after chemoradiotherapy, palliative intubation should be delayed until radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy appears to have failed.
AuthorsYasumasa Nishimura, Kenji Nagata, Susumu Katano, Saeko Hirota, Katsumasa Nakamura, Fumi Higuchi, Toshinori Soejima, Heitetsu Sai,
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics (Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys) Vol. 56 Issue 5 Pg. 1327-32 (Aug 1 2003) ISSN: 0360-3016 [Print] United States
PMID12873677 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Esophageal Neoplasms (pathology, radiotherapy)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Palliative Care
  • Stents (adverse effects)
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

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