Nationwide survey of the follow-up practices for patients with esophageal carcinoma after radical treatment: historical changes and future perspectives in Japan

Tomonori Nakanoko, Masaru Morita, Yuichiro Nakashima, Mitsuhiko Ota, Masahiko Ikebe, Manabu Yamamoto, Eisuke Booka, Hiroya Takeuchi, Yuko Kitagawa, Hisahiro Matsubara, Yuichiro Doki, Yasushi Toh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: No post-treatment follow-up methods have been established yet for patients with esophageal carcinoma who undergo radical esophagectomy (Surg) or who show complete response to definitive chemoradiotherapy (dCRT-CR). The purpose of this study was to investigate the current status of follow-up of the Surg and dCRT-CR patients in Japan, and understand the current reality and problems to establish an optimal follow-up method. Methods: A questionnaire on the follow-up method adopted was sent by e-mail to 124 institutions approved by the Japan Esophageal Society as training institutions for board-certified esophageal surgeons; responses were received from 89 institutions. The data were compared with those obtained by a similar survey conducted in 2014. Results: Follow-up methods markedly varied among institutions. Almost all institutions scheduled computed tomography and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy at least once a year up to postoperative year 5 for both the Surg and dCRT-CR groups. At least 70% of the institutions continued follow-up up to postoperative year 10, and this proportion had increased as compared to that reported from the 2014 survey. Only 25–30% of the institutions scheduled follow-up screening for metachronous head and neck cancer for both groups, and the health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) after the treatment were seldom assessed. These trends remained unchanged as compared to those reported from the 2014 survey. Conclusions: The results suggest that the consensus of follow-up protocol could not be established. More attention is required for detection of metachronous cancers and assessment of the HR-QOL. Establishment of a consensus-based follow-up system and verification of its effectiveness are required.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEsophagus
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology

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