Oncology Central

New multimodal treatment guidelines released for esophageal cancer

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The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (IL, USA) have released new clinical practice guidelines that focus on the management of cancer of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction. The guidelines, published in the November 2014 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, are intended to assist physicians in clinical decision-making.

Nine evidence-based recommendations are included that address multimodal treatments for esophageal cancer. The guidelines include recommendations for neoadjuvant therapy, where chemotherapy or radiation is given prior to surgery to reduce the size of the tumor.

“Despite the widespread enthusiasm for multimodality therapy and the myriad of its aspects, currently available data for each component of care are not truly definitive,” commented Guideline Task Force Chair, Alex Little from the University of Arizona (AZ, USA). “The recommendations included in our document are guidelines, not mandates, but we feel they identify best current practices.”

Each guideline is peer reviewed by experts in the field, a process that provides unbiased scientific assessment and identifies new areas of investigation for the future. Esophageal resection and early stage disease are due to be addressed in future guidelines.

“Understanding that technology continues to advance and even biological behavior can be modified, patient care decisions should be made by a multispecialty group with input from all relevant specialists,” explained Little.

Sources: Little AG, Lerut AE, Harpole DH et al. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Practice Guidelines on the Role of Multimodality Treatment for Cancer of the Esophagus and Gastroesophageal Junction. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 98 (5), 1880–1885 (2014); The Society of Thoracic Surgeons press release

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