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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 172-181

Role of palliative chemotherapy and targeted therapy in advanced esophageal and gastroesophageal junction cancers

Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital; Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Vanita Noronha
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr. Ernest Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra; Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Mumbai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CRST.CRST_10_19

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Esophageal cancer is an aggressive disease with high mortality and morbidity. Many of the patients present in advanced stages. In such a situation, systemic therapies are the mainstay of therapy both for palliation of symptoms and for meaningful improvement in survival. Preservation of quality of life is an important aspect of management of advanced and metastatic esophageal cancers. In this review article, we summarize the literature available on various systemic treatment options and the benefit in terms of response rates, improvement in survival and quality of life.Available literature on the subject was searched through an online search of the databases for articles in the English language. We describe the various classes of drugs available as evaluated in clinical trials, their response rates, and various drug combination regimens to achieve maximum benefit at the cost of minimum toxicity. Also detailed in the article are the relevant points regarding each chemotherapeutic agent/regimen and the associated response rates, progression free and overall survival. Palliative systemic therapy produces meaningful outcomes and must be considered in every patient with advanced esophageal cancer. This article will help the reader choose amongst the various treatment options and tailor the treatment according to the clinical situation.

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