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Study helps compare risks of treatments for early esophageal cancer
Date:7/28/2014

CHICAGO A new study, published in the July, 2014, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by Northwestern Medicine researchers, sheds new light on the risks associated with the growing popularity of endoscopic resection in the treatment of localized, early-stage esophageal cancer. Researchers found that the more traditional surgical resection, while more invasive, provided significantly better outcomes with an 87.6 percent five-year survival rate for patients than endoscopic resection, which had a 76 percent five-year survival rate. The study, "Treatment Trends, Risk of Lymph Node Metastasis, and Outcomes for Localized Esophageal Cancer," reviewed the outcomes of more than 5,000 patients from 824 hospitals using the National Cancer Data Base, a program of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and the American Cancer Society.

Endoscopic esophageal resection uses an endoscope, a flexible tube equipped with a small camera, which can be guided to very specific locations within the gastrointestinal tract with little or no disruption to the rest of the body. Esophageal surgical resection is used to remove a section of a patient's esophagus, and the digestive tract is then reconstructed by reconnecting the remaining unaffected sections.

"Endoscopic resection was becoming a more and more common surgical choice for treating early-stage esophageal cancer, but there really wasn't a single large study with evidence to suggest it was the best choice," said the senior author of the study, David J. Bentrem, MD, director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Lab at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Method professor of surgical research for the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "This study sheds some much needed light on the issue and will hopefully encourage physicians and patients to more closely examine whether or not endoscopic resection is the best course of treatment."

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Contact: Bret Coons
bcoons@nmh.org
312-926-2955
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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