Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is used for the treatment of early esophageal cancer (EEC).
This a retrospective study aimed to study the efficacy, safety, and the recurrence rate of EEC following EMR.
Seventy-nine patients who had undergone EMR for early EEC (T1a andT1b lesions) from 2006 to 2015 were included. EMR alone was considered curative in 51 patients who had T1a lesion. Complete remission was achieved in 50 (98%) patients. Mean number of sessions of EMR was 1.14. Cancer recurred locally in 6 (12%) of 50 patients at a median follow-up of 48 (18-72) months. Endoscopic treatment alone achieved complete remission at last follow up in 47 of 50 patients (94%) who had initial EMR with complete remission, or in 47 of all 51 patients (92%) in whom EMR was considered curative for EC. The Kaplan-Meier cancer-free survival following complete remission with EMR was 94.2% at 1 year and 88.4% at 5 years. Patients with complete eradication of Barrett’s had lower risk of recurrence of adenocarcinoma (AC) compared with patients who had persistent Barrett’s (p = 0.01). EMR alone was not considered curative in 19 patients, 16 with T1b AC and 3 with T1a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) invading the muscularis mucosa (m3). Two major adverse events were noted: delayed bleeding requiring hospitalization, and perforation that was closed endoscopically.
EMR is effective and safe for the management of early EC. The risk of cancer recurrence, albeit small, warrants surveillance. Complete eradication of Barrett’s should be attempted in all patients after EMR of AC.