Radiation techniques for esophageal cancer

Minsi Zhang, Abraham J. Wu


Radiotherapy plays a crucial role in the curative management of localized esophageal cancer, both as definitive and preoperative therapy. For definitive therapy, the standard radiation dose is 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions and should be delivered with concurrent chemotherapy. Chemoradiotherapy also has a wellestablished benefit in the preoperative setting, as established in the CROSS randomized trial. Radiation fields are typically generous, to account for subclinical extension of disease along the esophagus and to regional nodes. Three-dimensional conformal radiation is the current standard technique for esophageal cancer, though intensity-modulated radiation therapy is increasingly utilized and may improve the outcomes of esophageal radiotherapy by reducing radiation dose to critical normal tissues.