• Initial trials of irradiation and chemotherapy followed by operation for squamous carcinoma of the esophagus have produced encouraging results. Over the past three years, with palliative and curative intent, we have treated 27 unselected patients initially with two courses of chemotherapy (fluorouracil and either cisplatin, mitomycin, or cisplatin and vincristine sulfate) given 29 days apart and 3000 rad (30 Gy) of radiation. Ten patients have then undergone esophageal resection and two patients have undergone esophageal bypass. Results are compared with those of 70 unselected historical control patients treated since 1979. Survival at 30 months was significantly improved for multimodality-treated patients (21.4%±10.1%, mean±SEM) when compared with historical control patients (4.8%±2.7%). Twenty-four percent of multimodality-treated patients had complete remission of all tumor. These data indicate that overall therapy for carcinoma of the esophagus has been improved in our institutions.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1330-1335)