Pattern of care for cancer of the oesophagus in a western population

Thuy My N. Nguyen, Richard Hummel, Tim Bright, Sarah K. Thompson, Bjorn Tornqvist, David I. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Most oesophageal outcome research focuses on surgical treatment, despite most patients not undergoing surgery as they are unfit or have metastatic disease. Few studies have evaluated the patterns of care for all patients presenting with oesophageal cancer. Methods: All patients with oesophageal cancer, and high-grade dysplasia (HGD), presented at the South Australian state-wide upper gastrointestinal cancer multidisciplinary team from 2012 to 2015 were reviewed to determine the patterns of presentation and treatment. Results: A total of 375 patients were included. Diagnosis was adenocarcinoma in 69.6%, squamous cell carcinoma in 24.8% and HGD in 5.6%. The majority of patients presented with stages II and III disease (56.8%). A total of 51.5% were treated with curative intent, with 28.8% undergoing surgery and/or neoadjuvant therapy. Treatment was palliative in 48.5%, with chemoradiotherapy utilized in 20.8%. Disease stage and age impacted treatment intent. All patients with HGD received curative treatment versus 89.7%/63.8%/1% of patients with stage I/II and III/IV disease, respectively. A total of 56.9% of patients <80 years received curative treatment versus 25% of those >80 years old. Conclusion: Whilst approximately half of patients underwent treatment with curative intent, only a minority underwent surgery. Future efforts to improve survival outcomes for oesophageal cancer should address patients who are unfit for surgery and those presenting with metastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E15-E19
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • oesophageal cancer
  • treatment


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