The incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing but the prognosis is still very poor.
Around 50% of patients have advanced disease when diagnosed.
Stenting using expandable metal stents is primarily aimed at palliation.
Dr Martin Sundelöf and colleagues from Sweden evaluated dysphagia in patients with unresectable esophageal cancer treated with self-expanding metal stents.
The research team assessed factors influencing morbidity, procedure-related mortality and symptom relief.
|The procedure-related mortality was 3%|
|Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team conducted a retrospective observational clinical study of consecutive patients treated with self-expanding metal stents between 1993 and 2005.
The researchers placed 174 stents in 149 patients.
The procedure-related mortality was 3%, and the complication rate was 26%.
The researchers could evaluate pre- and post-treatment dysphagia in 139 stent placements.
The research team found that stent placement improved dysphagia symptoms in 70% of subjects.
Tumor length, tumor location, histology, age, gender or prior dilatation did not affect the outcome regarding procedure-related morbidity or symptom relief.
Dr Sundelöf's team concludes, “Palliation of malignant dysphagia with self-expanding metal stents is safe, and confers almost immediate improvement of dysphagia in the majority of patients.”
“Tumor-related and demographic factors do not seem to influence the outcome.”