Pretreatment Esophageal Wall Thickness Associated with Response to Chemoradiotherapy in Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer



A multimodality approach using concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by esophagectomy has been the standard treatment in patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Computed tomography (CT) is widely utilized to evaluate esophageal cancer before and after CRT. This study evaluated the utility of pretreatment maximal esophageal wall thickness on CT scans to predict treatment outcomes after CRT in patients with locally advanced ESCC.


Eighty-one patients with T3 locally advanced ESCC, whom were treated completely with CRT with and without surgery, and had available CT scans before and after CRT at a university hospital between 2005 and 2015, were retrospectively reviewed.


Twenty patients (24.7%) had esophagectomy after neoadjuvant CRT and sixty-one patients (75.3%) had definitive CRT. The maximal esophageal wall thicknesses were measured retrospectively and correlated with the response and survival after treatment. A total of 40% of neoadjuvant CRT patients achieved a pCR. There was a significant difference in pretreatment maximal esophageal wall thickness between the pCR and non-pCR groups (mean 11.9 ± 5.3 mm versus 16.9 ± 3 mm; p = 0.01). Pretreatment maximal esophageal wall thickness < 10 mm was significantly related to better overall survival than ≥ 10 mm (median survival 79 months versus 15 months; HR 3.21, 95%CI 1.14–9; p = 0.02). The neoadjuvant CRT group had significantly better survival than the definitive CRT group (median survival 51 months versus 14.5 months; HR 0.46; 95%CI 0.25–0.85; p = 0.01).


In our study, pretreatment esophageal wall thickness of T3 locally advanced ESCC is a useful indicator for predicting survival and pCR after treatment.

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We would like to thank David Patterson of the Faculty of Medicine Office of International Relations for his assistance with the English in the manuscript, and Jureerat Saengthong of the Research Unit for helping with statistical analysis in the study.


This study was supported by the Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University.

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Correspondence to Somkiat Sunpaweravong.

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This retrospective study was approved by Institutional Ethical Commission Review Board.

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The author(s) declare no potential conflicts of interest.

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Wongwaiyut, K., Ruangsin, S., Laohawiriyakamol, S. et al. Pretreatment Esophageal Wall Thickness Associated with Response to Chemoradiotherapy in Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer. J Gastrointest Canc 51, 947–951 (2020).

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  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophagectomy
  • Wall thickness