The use of self-expandable metallic stents for palliative treatment of inoperable esophageal cancer


DISEASES OF THE ESOPHAGUS, vol.23, no.1, pp.64-70, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2009.00978.x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.64-70
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Most patients with esophageal carcinoma present in the advanced stage die from tumor invasion and widespread metastases. Because radical regimens are not appropriate for the majority of patients, and their expected survivals are as short as to be measured by months, the main aim of therapy is palliation with minimum morbidity and mortality. Among the palliative modalities are surgery, external radiotherapy or brachytherapy, dilatation, laser, photodynamic therapy, bipolar electrocoagulation tumor probe, and chemical ablation. The placement of self-expandable metallic stents is another method that improves dysphagia for these patients. In this study, the aim was to evaluate retrospectively the effectiveness of metallic stents deployed because of inoperable malignant esophageal stenosis and esophagotracheal fistulas. The results of 170 patients with 202 stents administered because of inoperable malignant esophageal stenosis and esophagorespiratory fistula between January 2000 and October 2008 at the Ataturk University, Department of Thoracic Surgery, were investigated. Despite epidemiological and clinical data, information regarding relief of dysphagia and quality of life were also examined. One hundred seventy patients with stents were between 28 and 91 years old (mean age 63.7 years +/- 11.4 years). Ninety-seven were male and 73 were female. Stent indications were advanced tumors with distant metastasis ( 82 cases, 48.2%), unresectable tumors (51 cases, 30%), patients who cannot tolerate surgery or chemoradiotherapy (18 cases, 10.5%), local recurrence after primary therapy (1 case, 0.5%), esophagorespiratory fistulas from tumor or therapy (14 cases, 8.2%), and refusal of surgery (4 cases, 2.3%). Dysphagia scores evaluated by a modified Takita's grading system improved from 3.4 before the procedure to 2.6 afterward. The overall complication rate without chest pain was 31.7% ( occurring in 64 cases). Mean survival was 177.7 days +/- 59.3 days (2-993 days). Quality-of-life scores ( The European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ C30) improved from 73 +/- 10.3 (57-85) to 112 +/- 12.6 (90-125). In therapy of malignant esophageal obstructions, metallic stents provide a significant improvement in dysphagia and require less frequent re-intervention according to other methods of dysphagia palliation such as dilatation, laser, and photodynamic therapy, nearly completely relieve esophagotracheal fistulas and improve quality of life to an important degree.