Planned oesophagectomy after chemoradiotherapy versus salvage oesophagectomy following definitive chemoradiotherapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Josipa Petric, Samuel Handshin, Tim Bright, David I. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Oesophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer and sixth leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Salvage oesophagectomies are associated with an increased risk of mortality, although recent data suggests that long-term survival rates following salvage oesophagectomy are similar to planned oesophagectomy. The aim was therefore to meta-analyse outcomes for patients undergoing salvage versus planned oesophagectomies to assess the differences in short-term mortality and long-term survival. 

Methods: A systematic review of Medline, Scopus, Web of Science and PubMed was performed to identify relevant studies. Data were extracted and compared by meta-analysis, using odds ratio and mean differences with 95% confidence intervals. 

Results: Nineteen studies meeting inclusion criteria were included in the meta-analysis, which compared patients in the planned oesophagectomy group (n = 23 555) to patients in the salvage oesophagectomy group (n = 2227). There were significant differences between the groups in terms of rates of postoperative mortality (5.7% salvage oesophagectomy versus 3.1% planned oesophagectomy, P = 0.0004), anastomotic leak (20.6% salvage oesophagectomy versus 14.5% planned oesophagectomy, P < 0.00001), pulmonary complications (37.1% salvage oesophagectomy versus 24.2% planned oesophagectomy, P < 0.0001) and R0 margin (87.6% salvage oesophagectomy versus 91.3% planned oesophagectomy, P < 0.0001). There was no statistical difference between long-term survival rates at 5 years with 39.2% for salvage and 42.6% for planned oesophagectomy (P = 0.28). 

Conclusions: Salvage oesophagectomies do offer a meaningful chance of long-term survival (at 5 years) for select patients with oesophageal cancer, but the elevated risk of post-operative complications and mortality following salvage oesophagectomy should be recognized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-839
Number of pages11
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Volume93
Issue number4
Early online date29 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • oesophageal adenocarcinoma
  • oesophageal cancer
  • oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma
  • planned oesophagectomy
  • salvage surgery

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