National Cancer Database report of nonmetastatic esophageal small cell carcinoma

Vivek Verma, Richard L. Sleightholm, Penny Fang, Jeffrey M. Ryckman, Chi Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Esophageal small cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a rare malignancy for which there is no consensus management approach. This is the largest known analysis of nonmetastatic ESCC patients to date, evaluating national practice patterns and outcomes of surgical-based therapy vs chemoradiotherapy (CRT) vs chemotherapy alone. Methods: The National Cancer Data Base was queried for esophageal cancer patients with histologically confirmed nonmetastatic ESCC. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression ascertained factors associated with receipt of surgical-based management. Kaplan-Meier analysis evaluated overall survival (OS) and the log-rank test is used to compare OS between groups; Cox univariate and multivariate analyses determined variables associated with OS. Results: Altogether, 323 patients were analyzed; 64 (20%) patients underwent surgical-based therapy, 211 (65%) CRT, and 48 (15%) chemotherapy alone. On multivariable analysis, no single factor significantly predicted for administration of surgery. Despite no OS differences between the surgery-based (median OS 21 months) and CRT arms (18 months), both were superior to CT alone (10 months) (P < 0.001). Among other factors, receiving any local therapy independently predicted for higher OS over chemotherapy alone on Cox multivariate analysis (P < 0.001). Conclusions: This study of a large, contemporary national database demonstrates that most ESCC is treated with CRT in the United States; adding local therapy to systemic therapy may be beneficial to these patients, although individualized multidisciplinary management is still recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6365-6373
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • chemotherapy
  • esophageal cancer
  • radiation therapy
  • small cell carcinoma
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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