Oesophageal cancer: Preoperative radiotherapy, a systematic review and IPD meta-analysis
Preoperative radiotherapy for oesophageal carcinoma: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data
Does having radiotherapy before surgery help people with oesophageal live longer?
What was this study about?
Cancer of the oesophagus is cancer of the gullet, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. If the tumour in the oesophagus that is not too big, and has not spread too far, doctors usually operate to remove it.
We did a systematic review and meta analysis of individual patient data looking at whether giving people radiotherapy (treatment with x-rays) before this surgery would make the operation easier and help people to live longer. This study brought together information from all patients who took part in similar randomised controlled trials.. These trials compared what happened to people with oesophageal cancer who were given radiotherapy before surgery with those who had just had surgery.
What difference did this study make?
This study found people who had radiotherapy before surgery might live a little bit longer than those who didn't. However, the results were uncertain.
Researchers suggested that people with oesophageal cancer should not normally be offered radiotherapy before surgery unless they are part of a randomised trial.
Arnott SJ, Duncan W, Gignoux M, Girling DJ, Hansen HS, Launois B, Nygaard K, Parmar MK, Roussel A, Spiliopoulos G, Stewart LA, Tierney JF, Mei W, Rugang Z. Preoperative radiotherapy in esophageal carcinoma: a meta-analysis using individual patient data (Oesophageal Cancer Collaborative Group). International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 1998; 41:579-583
Arnott SJ, Duncan W, Gignoux M, Girling DJ, Hansen HS, Launois B, et al. Preoperative radiotherapy for esophageal carcinoma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2005(4):Art. No.: CD001799. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001799.pub2
Type of study
Who funded the study?
Medical Research Council
When did it take place?
This study was published in 1998. The trials included were done between 1973 and 1988.
Where did it take place?
The study brought together 10 trials from all over the world. These trials included over 1,100 patients with oesophageal cancer.
Who was included?
Patients with oesophageal cancer who took part in randomised controlled trials comparing what happened to people with oesophageal cancer who were given radiotherapy before surgery with those who had just had surgery.