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ISSN: 1895-4588
Videosurgery and Other Miniinvasive Techniques
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vol. 12
Review paper

Outcome of esophageal cancer in the elderly – systematic review of the literature

Urszula A. Skorus, Jakub Kenig

Videosurgery Miniinv 2017; 12 (4): 341–349
Online publish date: 2017/12/29
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Introduction: As the population ages, the number of elderly patients with esophageal cancer increases. Esophageal cancer has a poor prognosis and is associated with decreased life quality.

Aim: To review the literature about the outcome of esophageal cancer in patients over 65.

Material and methods: Articles published between January 2006 and November 2016 in the PubMed/Medline and ResearchGate databases were reviewed. Nineteen retrospective studies were included.

Results: Six thousand seven hundred and twenty-nine patients over 65 were analyzed. Thirty-day mortality ranges from 3.2% to 8.1%. Overall 5-year survival rates range from 0% to 49.2%, and the median survival rate ranges from 9.6 to 108.2 months. The incidence of complications in the surgery group ranges from 27% to 69%. Chemoradiotherapy grade ≥ 3 toxicity was observed in 22–36% of patients.

Conclusions: Chronological age seems to have little influence on outcome of esophageal cancer. Open esophagectomy seems to be the mainstay of treatment for patients with esophageal cancer, regardless of age. There is still high mortality and morbidity involved in this procedure. To reduce them, some less invasive methods are being trialed.


minimally invasive surgery, chemotherapy, esophageal cancer, outcomes, elderly, esophagectomy

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