Background: For patients with locoregional esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), survival outcomes among neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by operation (nCRT-OP), definitive chemoradiotherapy (dCRT), and esophagectomy alone remain controversial. Patients and methods: Information from the 2008–2016 Taiwan Cancer Registry was used. A total of 7637 cT1b–4, N0/+, M0 ESCC patients receiving nCRT-OP (n = 1955), dCRT (n = 4122), or esophagectomy alone (n = 1560) were included. Propensity score matching was performed to balance clinical variables among the three groups. Stage-specific overall survival was compared before and after propensity score matching. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to identify prognostic factors. Results: Propensity score matching resulted in 1407 cases for comparison. The 5-year overall survival rates for matched patients treated via dCRT, nCRT-OP, and esophagectomy alone were 19.77%, 31.23%, and 30.52%, respectively (p < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, treatment modality was still an independent prognostic factor both before and after propensity score matching. nCRT-OP and esophagectomy alone were associated with significantly better overall survival than dCRT for locoregional ESCC patients. Conclusions: This propensity-matched study revealed that nCRT-OP and esophagectomy provided better survival than dCRT in cT1b–4, N0/+, M0 ESCC patients.
- Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma