Advances in radiation therapy for esophageal cancer

Welcome to the September issue of Applied Radiation Oncology! As part of this month’s focus on esophageal cancer (EC), we are pleased to offer an array of articles examining important updates in what remains a leading cause of cancer death worldwide.

In Improving the therapeutic index for nonoperable esophageal cancer patients with modern radiation technologies, the authors provide an excellent summary of the timely issues surrounding the protons vs. photons question in the context of definitive conformal radiation therapy treatment for EC.

A second review, Controversies in the preoperative radiotherapeutic management of resectable esophageal cancer, is a well-written and concise summary of data driving the management of resectable esophageal carcinoma. In examining the role of trimodality therapy for locally advanced EC, the authors analyze controversies surrounding optimal total neoadjuvant radiation therapy (RT) dose, and describe the impact of RT technologies on overall survival and toxicity.

Both reviews offer complimentary SA-CME credits, with details on pages 7 and 15. Additional topics, which also provide complimentary SA-CME, are listed at

Along with our Technology Trends article on EC, which is featured in our digital edition this month, we are pleased to offer Long-term cure of stage IVB esophageal adenocarcinoma: Integrating local therapy modalities to maximum treatment effect in patients responsive to systemic therapy. This case is an informative and uplifting report of a patient with an unexpectedly good outcome achieved through aggressive, nonstandard local therapy.

Two well-written research articles are offered as well, a paper on salvage RT for biochemically recurrent prostate cancer, and a retrospective analysis of the University of Florida experience of oropharyngeal cancer patients who underwent salvage surgery due to a local or locoregional recurrence—one of the larger series with excellent documentation of patient outcomes.

Additional issue highlights include a poignant editorial on the vital need for resident self-care in radiation oncology, which is a very important topic given the high rates of burnout among physicians, and a detailed and timely review of concerns and initiatives regarding undergraduate medical education in radiation oncology.

In other news, I would like to recognize two ARO board members who were among those selected for ASTRO Fellow status earlier this year: Jeffrey Buchsbaum, MD, PhD, AM, of the National Cancer Institute, and Robert Price, PhD, DABR, of Fox Chase Cancer Center. At the upcoming ASTRO conference in San Antonio, please be sure to congratulate them and the 33 others who have earned this esteemed designation.

Speaking of ASTRO, we greatly look forward to connecting with you at the annual meeting October 21-24, and learning about the latest research, technological advances, and practice-changing updates to continually improve and refine the care we offer our patients.

Please enjoy the issue, and hope to see you in San Antonio!


John Suh, MD, FASTRO. Advances in radiation therapy for esophageal cancer. Appl Radiat Oncol. 2018;(3):4.

September 22, 2018