Endoscopic mucosectomy: an alternative treatment for superficial esophageal cancer
Recent Results in Cancer Research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progres Dans les Recherches sur le Cancer 155: 183-192
ISSN/ISBN: 0080-0015 PMID: 10693252 Accession: 045958817
Recent trends in the management of superficial esophageal cancer consist of improved detection, pretherapeutic staging and reliable criteria for curative endoscopic therapy. The endoscopic treatment is legitimate when the cancer is at an early stage, intra-epithelial or microinvasive (m1 or m2) and N0. Submucosal cancer should not be treated with a curative intent by endotherapy. Concerning squamous cell cancer, the oriental and occidental pathologists include high-grade dysplasia in the same group as intramucosal cancer. The distinction is however maintained for adenocarcinoma in the Barrett's esophagus. Indications of endoscopic rather than surgical treatment rely on: (1) the small size of the tumor (not more than 2 cm in diameter); (2) the endoscopic morphology in the type 0 of the Japanese classification with the flat subtypes IIa and IIb rather than type IIc--there is high risk of submucosal invasion for the polypoid (type I) or ulcerated superficial cancer (type III); and (3) the endoscopic ultrasound staging, with confirmed integrity of the hyperechoic submucosal layer. The high-frequency (20 MHz) miniprobe is preferred to the standard (7.5 MHz) instrument. The elective procedure for tumor eradication is endoscopic mucosectomy. The technique is associated with a 6.8% risk of severe complications (hemorrhage or perforation) and a recurrence rate of 3%-7%. The 5-year survival rate is similar to that of surgery (over 80%). In the small group of patients with superficial esophageal cancer (less than 10% of the disease) endoscopic treatment may now be proposed in about 30% of cases, surgery is preferred for submucosal cancer and for neoplasia with a large surface. Areas of high-grade dysplasia in the Barrett's esophagus offer a new and increasing sector of indications. The concurrent endoscopic procedure of destruction--photodynamic therapy--is preferred for the destruction of lesions with poorly delineated limits.