Survival of elderly esophageal cancer patients improved with endoscopic treatment

Survival rate increases when patients with esophageal cancer undergo endoscopic submucosal dissection [사진=게티이미지뱅크]
A plan to increase the long-term survival rate of esophageal cancer patients aged 65 years and older has been proposed. The results of the study show that the prognosis is good with appropriate treatment such as endoscopic submucosal dissection.

Esophageal cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the world, and the 5-year survival rate is reported to be only 15-25%. It is also known that the prognosis can be greatly improved if treatment is started with early diagnosis. As the population receiving endoscopy is increasing due to the aging population, the number of cases diagnosed with early esophageal cancer is increasing. In Korea, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for more than 95% of all esophageal cancers. It occurs mostly in men in their 60s and 70s.

The research team led by Professor Cheol-Woong Huo of the Department of Gastroenterology at Yongin Severance Hospital of Yonsei University College of Medicine and Da-Hyun Jeong of the Department of Gastroenterology at Severance Hospital conducted a study on 290 patients aged 65 years and older who were diagnosed with early esophageal cancer and underwent endoscopic submucosal dissection. The average age of the patients was 71 years. After receiving treatment such as endoscopic submucosal dissection, the 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year survival rates were excellent at 82.5%, 73.1%, and 59.7%, respectively.

Endoscopic submucosal dissection is a procedure to remove early esophageal cancer without adenoma or lymph node metastasis while performing endoscopy. Compared to surgical treatment, it has the advantage of significantly shorter hospital stay and procedure time. The survival and curative resection rates of the two treatments were similar. Long-term prognosis was poor even after treatment if the patient had a history of other organ cancers, had poor systemic condition, or confirmed lymphatic invasion in tissue results.

Professor Huh Cheol-woong said, “Esophageal cancer surgery has a wide range and high difficulty, which increases the risk of complications. He added, “In particular, as endoscopic submucosal dissection has shown great utility in the treatment of early esophageal cancer in the elderly, we expect that many patients will receive additional treatment opportunities.”

The results of this study were published in the SCI-level international journal, Frontiers in Medicine.

Reporter Kim Seong-eun [email protected]

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