Palliative endoscopic treatments for esophageal cancers
Esophageal cancer five-year survival has slightly increased during past 20 years (from 5 to 9%), but remains low. At time of diagnosis, 60% of the patients are only relevant for palliative therapy. Recent advances in therapeutic endoscopy have allowed improving dysphagia and quality of life. Endoscopic techniques are chosen according to tumor characteristics. According to French societies guidelines (FFCD, “Standards-Options-Recommandations” from FNCLCC, SNFGE) endoscopic treatment is a “gold standard” for metastatic patients with poor performance status, as well as oesophago-tracheal fistula. Expandable metal stent are efficient for malignant stenosis with lower morbidity and mortality than plastic prosthesis. Endoscopic placement of a covered self-expanding metal stent is the treatment of choice of an esophago-respiratory fistula. Dilatation is often the first step before other endoscopic therapies or medical treatment such as radiochemotherapy. Single dose brachytherapy could provide better long-term relief of dysphagia and fewer complications than stent placement, but is less widespread. Other techniques like bipolar electrocoagulation have restricted indications especially for circonferential stenosis of cervical esophagus. However, the main problem remains the dysphagia relapse after treatment.
© 2006 Elsevier Masson SAS. Tous droits réservés.