Diagnosis and treatment of superficial esophageal cancer
Endoscopy allows for the screening, early diagnosis, treatment and follow up of superficial esophageal cancer. Endoscopic submucosal dissection has become the gold standard for the resection of superficial squamous cell neoplasia. Combinations of endoscopic mucosal resection and radiofrequency ablation are the mainstay of the management of Barrett’s associated neoplasia. However, protruded, non-lifting or large lesions may be better managed by endoscopic submucosal dissection. Novel ablation tools, such as argon plasma coagulation with submucosal lifting and cryoablation balloons, are being developed for the treatment of residual Barrett’s esophagus, since iatrogenic strictures still hamper the development of extensive circumferential resections in the esophagus. Optimal surveillance modalities after endoscopic resection are still to be determined. The assessment of the risk of lymph-node metastases, as well as of the need for additional treatments based on qualitative and quantitative histological criteria, balanced to the patient’s condition, requires a dedicated multidisciplinary team decision process. The need for trained endoscopists, expert pathologists and surgeons, and specialized multidisciplinary meetings underlines the role of expert centers in the management of uperficial esophageal cancer.
Keywords Superficial esophageal neoplasm, endoscopic resection, endoscopic submucosal dissection, radiofrequency ablation, Barrett’s esophagus, squamous cell carcinoma, early adenocarcinoma
Ann Gastroenterol 2018; 31 (3): 256-265