Small‐cell carcinoma of the esophagus. Treatment by chemotherapy alone
Small-cell carcinoma of the esophagus is a rare tumor. In most reported cases, surgery has been the major mode of therapy. Most patients have relapsed rapidly with disseminated disease. We treated a patient with small-cell carcinoma of the esophagus with a multi-drug regimen being used in small cell-carcinoma of the lung. Within two months of beginning therapy, the primary lesion, as evaluated by barium esophogram, had completely resolved. Residual disease was seen on panendoscopy. The patient was considered to be in partial remission. She relapsed nine months after starting therapy and died with widespread metastases. Small-cell carcinoma of the esophagus should not be treated surgically but rather in the same fashion as is small-cell carcinoma of the lung, i.e., with multi-drug chemotherapy and radiation therapy.