Results of postoperative radiochemotherapy of the patients with resectable gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in Slovenia

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Background. Although the incidence of adenocarcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) is sharply rising in the Western world, there are still some disagreements about the staging and the treatment of this disease. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyse the effectiveness and safety of postoperative radiochemotherapy in patients with a GEJ adenocarcinoma treated at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana.

Patients and methods. Seventy patients with GEJ adenocarcinoma, who were treated with postoperative radiochemotherapy between January 2005 and June 2010, were included in the study. The treatment consisted of 6 cycles of chemotherapy with 5-FU and cisplatin and concomitant radiotherapy with the total dose of 45 Gy.

Results. Twenty-six patients (37.1%) completed the treatment according to the protocol. The median follow-up time was 17.7 months (range: 3.3-64 months). Acute toxicity grade 3 or more, such as stomatitis, dysphagia, nausea or vomiting, and infection, occurred in 2.9%, 34.3%, 38.6% and 41.5% of patients, respectively. At 3 years locoregional control (LRC), disease-free survival (DFS), disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS) were 78.2%, 25.3%, 35.8%, and 33.9%, respectively. In the multivariate analysis of survival, splenectomy and level of Ca 19-9 >20 kU/L before the adjuvant treatment were identified as independent prognostic factors for lower DFS, DSS and OS. Age <60 years, higher number of involved lymph nodes and advanced disease stage were identified as independent prognostic factors for lower DSS and OS.

Conclusions. In patients with GEJ adenocarcinoma who first underwent surgery, postoperative radiochemotherapy is feasible, but we must be aware of a high risk of acute toxic side effects.

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