Curative oncology treatment (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) is administered to patients when the disease is localized and inoperable. Chemotherapy in the form of CiFu treatments is administered before starting radiation therapy as well as during and after.
The Scandinavian Esophagus Group is currently performing a randomized study with preoperative oxaliplatin-FU with and without preoperative 40 Gy of radiation therapy.
Palliative chemotherapy is appropriate when the disease is advanced. Expected survival time is often short and the patient's general health status is weakened. Side effects should be minimal, therefore CiFu treatment is often contraindicated. A combination of docetaxel (Taxotere®) and capecitabine (Xeloda®), which are currently being used in a phase ll study, is a good alternative for patients with aWHO function level of 0–2.