Even if surgery is often considered the only curative treatment, good results have been published with radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy (1). Today, this is standard treatment localized inoperable cancer in the esophagus.
If the patient's general health status is reduced and/or blood values are too low, radiation therapy is the only option. The treatment is administered in hyperfractionated high doses and the goal is to cure the disease. Biologically, this is based on the high proliferation rate of the squamous cells (Tpot). The treatment is well-tolerated, however the disadvantage is that microscopic spreading is not treated. It is considered too toxic to combine this radiation treatment with chemotherapy.
Palliative radiation therapy
The purpose is to keep the esophagus open and the patients swallowing ability for the rest of the patient's life, or long as it is possible.
The treatment is administered either as external or endocavital radiation therapy.