Sex Influences Survival in Esophageal Cancer

Better esophageal cancer-specific survival for women with locoregional, metastatic cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Sex is an independent prognostic factor for patients with locoregional esophageal cancer (LEC) and metastatic esophageal cancer (MEC), according to a study published online May 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Pierre Bohanes, M.D., of the Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles, and colleagues utilized Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data from 1973 to 2007 to identify 13,603 patients with MEC and 26,848 patients with LEC to investigate the association between sex and survival in patients with esophageal cancer.

The researchers found that, in multivariate analysis, women with MEC and LEC had significantly longer esophageal cancer-specific survival (ECSS) than men (hazard ratio [HR], 0.949 [P = 0.029] and 0.920 [P < 0.001], respectively). There was no difference seen in ECSS for women and men with adenocarcinomas, after accounting for age and histology. Compared with men, women younger than 55 and aged 55 years or older with squamous LEC had longer ESCC (HR, 0.896 [P = 0.081] and 0.905 [P < 0.001]). Compared with men, women younger than age 55 years with squamous cell MEC also had longer ECSS (HR, 0.823; P = 0.011).

"Sex is an independent prognostic factor for patients with LEC or MEC," the authors write. "As secondary hypotheses, in comparison with men, women age 55 years or older with squamous cell LEC and women younger than age 55 years with squamous cell MEC have a significantly better outcome. These last two findings need further validation."

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