The benefit of multimodality therapy is clearly established for adenocarcinomas of the distal esophagus and gastroesophageal junction, but its impact on toxicity is not well defined. We reviewed data from prospective randomized trials to better define the risks of multimodality therapy. The rates of surgical mortality and complications range from 0% to 10% and 23% to 49%, respectively. Multimodality therapy increases acute toxicity. The rate of severe acute hematologic toxicity varies considerably between trials (3%-78%) and appears to be primarily attributable to chemotherapy. Common severe acute nonhematologic toxicities include esophagitis (16%-63%), infection (2%-30%), pain (3%-24%), and gastrointestinal (6%-60%) and cardiac (3%-19%) events. The individual contribution of each modality to nonhematologic toxicities is unclear, but toxicity is increased when adding radiosensitizing chemotherapy to radiotherapy. There is an acute decrease in quality of life with multimodality therapy; however, quality of life usually returns to, or exceeds, baseline by 12 months after therapy. Late toxicities are less well defined, but commonly include esophageal, pulmonary, and cardiac toxicities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research