Background: Esophageal carcinoma is the fifth leading gastrointestinal malignancy and is one of the leading causes of cancer related death. Despite improvements in surgical technique over the last few decades, the outcome has been dismal, with overall 5 year survival not exceeding 15%-25%. Aims and Objectives: To evaluate the effect of preoperative chemotherapy on resectability, complication rate and overall survival in patients with squamous cell carcinoma esophagus. Materials and Methods: 50 patients with histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), with localised or loco-regional disease (stage 4 excluded) were divided into 2 groups. Group A patients were subjected to 2-3 cycles of pre-operative chemotherapy (5FU-CDDP), whereas Group B patients were directly operated on. Observations: 3 (12%) patients in group A showed complete pathological response to chemotherapy and 18 (72%) showed a partial response, with four patients (16%) showing resistance to chemotherapy. There was no statistically significant difference in terms of response to chemotherapy with respect to degree of differentiation of tumor. There was no significant difference in the overall resectability rates between the two groups (p>0.05), but R0 resection was achieved in 20 (80%) of group A and only 10 (40%) of group B, the difference being statistically significant (p<0.05). The rate of overall complications was also much higher in the control group. Initially there was no significant difference in the survival between the two groups, but later (20 months) the study group showed a slight non-significant advantage. Conclusion: Preoperative chemotherapy significantly increases the rate of R0 resection without significantly increasing postoperative morbidity and mortality in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus. However, to assess the impact on survival the study period needs to be extended.
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G. Na Lone, Sheikh, A. Ab, Sheikh, Z. Aac, Baba, K. Md, Qurieshi, M. Ae, Mufti, G. Na, Naikoo, Z. Aa, Syed, A. Aa, Ahangar, A. Ga, Lone, R. Aa, Sharma, M. La, Singh, Sa, Bhat, M. Aa, and Dar, A. Ma, “Role of preoperative chemotherapy in squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus in Kashmir, a cancer belt - A pilot study”, Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, vol. 12, pp. 465-470, 2011.