A retrospective analysis of the treatment results for advanced synchronous head and neck and esophageal cancer.

KH Fan, YK Chao, JT Chang, NM Tsang, CT Liao, KP Chang, Chun-Yen Lin, HM Wang, CL Hsu, SF Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


The treatments for synchronous head and neck cancer (HNC) and esophageal cancer (ESC) are toxic and difficult to employ. The aim of this study was to identify the feasibility of a protracted, less toxic treatment course and prognostic factor of synchronous HNC and ESC. Cancer registry data from 2004 to 2012 were reviewed. The inclusion criteria were two cancer diagnoses within 30 days, and Stage III/IV HNC or Stage II-IV ESC that chemoradiation therapy was indicated. Evident metastasis, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score >2, a history of prior cancer, or palliative treatment were excluded. Survival rates and patient and treatment characteristics were analyzed. There were 51 eligible cases. The 2 year overall survival rate was 25.1%. Univariate analysis found that anemia, larynx/hypopharynx HNC, and no esophagectomy correlated with poor overall survival. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that anemia and no esophagectomy were independent poor prognostic factors. The 2 year progression-free survival rate was 14.8%. Univariate analysis found only no esophagectomy correlated with poor progression-free survival. The outcomes are poor for patients with advanced synchronous HNC and ESC. Radiotherapy with a split or protracted course does not result in inferior treatment result and can be considered when the aim is to avoid adverse events. Esophagectomy correlated with good prognosis and should be performed for patients if possible. The treatment results of synchronous HNC and ESC is poor. A protracted chemoradiation course for synchronous HNC and ESC did not result in inferior survival and should be applied to patients with a poor prognosis. Esophagectomy correlates with good outcomes and should be encouraged if the patient has a good prognosis.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20190015
JournalBJR open
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


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