Esophageal perforation due to stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is rare, and there is no consensus on the treatment strategy. Here, we report two cases of esophageal perforation caused by CyberKnife irradiation managed with distinct surgical approaches.
Case 1 was a 54-year-old woman who was administered chemotherapy including bevacizumab and underwent CyberKnife SBRT for postoperative ovarian cancer (pStage IIIc) with metastasis in the eighth thoracic vertebra. Thirteen months after irradiation, she suddenly developed right back and anterior thoracic pain and was diagnosed with esophageal perforation. Despite open chest drainage and intercostal muscle (ICM) flap coverage, the fistula could not be closed, leading to pyogenic spondylitis and epidural abscess. Case 2 was of a 58-year-old woman with mediastinal lymph node metastasis 5 years after uterine cancer surgery (pStage Ia) who underwent CyberKnife SBRT. Six months after irradiation, she experienced back pain and was diagnosed with esophageal perforation. After curative esophagectomy, the patient was discharged on postoperative day 22 without any adverse effects.
Esophageal perforation by SBRT with vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (VEGFI) such as bevacizumab has rarely been reported. Considering the impaired wound healing system and blood perfusion caused by radiation therapy and VEGFI, difficulty closing the perforation covered with an ICM flap was hypothesized.
Late esophageal toxicity from irradiation may cause impaired blood flow and wound healing; therefore, curative esophagectomy, including at the perforation site, is effective.

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