The management of localized esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: Western approach

Neeha Zaidi, Ronan J. Kelly


Esophageal cancer remains a significant cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide and carries a poor prognosis both in the locally advanced and metastatic setting. Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) accounts for the majority of esophageal cancers globally, while esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) now predominates in the Western world. Historically, clinical trials have not separated the two histologic subtypes, with similar regimens being used for both. This, however, is changing with the recent publication by the Cancer Genome Atlas Research Group confirming that comprehensive analysis reveals ESCC demonstrates frequent genomic amplifications of CCND1 and SOX2 and/or TP63 and biologically are more like head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, whereas EACs strongly resemble the chromosomally unstable variant of gastric cancer. With a lack of viable targets in squamous cell carcinoma, immunotherapeutic approaches are now being investigated in both early stage and metastatic ESCC with promising results being reported in the preliminary data published to date.