Esophageal Cancer: An Updated Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Database Analysis

Eric Omar Then, Michell Lopez, Saad Saleem, Vijay Gayam, Tagore Sunkara, Andrea Culliford, Vinaya Gaduputi


Background: Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the eighth most common cancer worldwide with a 5-year survival rate of less than 25%. Here we report the incidence, risk factors and treatment options that are available currently, and moving into the future.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database made available by the National Cancer Institute in the USA. Specifically we extracted data from the years 2004 - 2015.

Results: In total we identified 23,804 patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma and 13,919 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Males were at an increased risk of developing both types of esophageal cancer when compared to females. Most cases of adenocarcinoma were diagnosed as poorly differentiated grade III (42%), and most cases of squamous cell carcinoma were diagnosed as moderately differentiated grade II (39.5%). The most common stage of presentation for both adenocarcinoma (36.9%) and squamous cell (26.8%) carcinoma was stage IV. The worst outcomes for adenocarcinoma were noted with grade III tumors (hazard ratio (HR): 1.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.44 - 1.68, P value: < 0.01), stage IV tumors (HR: 3.58, 95% CI: 3.33 - 3.85, P value: < 0.01) and those not treated with surgery (HR: 2.54, 95% CI: 2.44 - 2.65, P value: < 0.01). For squamous cell carcinoma, the worst outcomes were noted with grade III tumors (HR: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.23 - 1.49, P value: < 0.01), stage IV tumors (HR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.94 - 2.32, P value: <0.01).

Conclusions: The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in the USA is steadily on the rise. Conversely, the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma has been continually declining. While white males had an increased incidence of both types of esophageal cancer, a higher proportion of African Americans suffered from squamous cell carcinoma. Despite the wide spread use of proton pump inhibitors, adenocarcinoma continues to be a major public health concern.

World J Oncol. 2020;11(2):55-64


Esophageal cancer; Adenocarcinoma; Squamous cell carcinoma; Chemotherapy; Radiotherapy

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