Incidence of brain metastasis from esophageal cancer

G. Welch, Helen J Ross, Naresh Patel, D. E. Jaroszewski, D. E. Fleischer, W. G. Rule, Harshita Paripati, Francisco C Ramirez, Jonathan B. Ashman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We investigated whether the incidence of brain metastasis (BM) from primary esophageal and esophagogastric cancer is increasing. A single-institution retrospective review identified 583 patients treated from January 1997 to January 2016 for stages I through IV cancer of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction (follow-up, ≥3 months). Collected data included demographic information, date and staging at primary diagnosis, histologic subtype, treatment regimen for primary lesion, date of BM diagnosis, presence or absence of central nervous system symptoms, presence or absence of extracranial disease, treatment regimen for intracranial lesions, and date of death. The overall cohort included 495 patients (85%) with adenocarcinoma and 82 (14%) with squamous cell carcinoma (492 [84%] were male; median age at diagnosis, 68 years [range: 26-90 years]). BM was identified in 22 patients (3.8%) (median latency after primary diagnosis, 11 months). Among patients with BM, the primary histology was adenocarcinoma in 21 and squamous cell carcinoma in 1 (P = 0.30). BMdeveloped in 12 who were initially treated for locally advanced disease and in 10 stage IV patients who presented with distant metastases. Overall survival (OS) after BM diagnosis was 18% at 1 year (median, 4 months). No difference in OS after BM diagnosis was observed in patients initially treated for localized disease compared to patients who presented with stage IV disease; however, OS was superior for patients who initially had surgical resection compared to patients treated with whole brain radiotherapy or stereotactic radiosurgery alone (1-year OS, 67% vs. 0%; median OS, 13.5 vs. 3 months; P = 0.003). The incidence of BMis low in patients with esophageal cancer. Outcomes were poor overall for patients with BM, but patients who underwent neurosurgical resection had improved survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Esophageal neoplasms
  • Neurosurgery
  • Palliative care
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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