Concurrent versus sequential chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer among Chinese population: a meta-analysis


Aims and background

Esophageal cancer can cause substantial mortality and there is controversy about the effectiveness of concurrent and sequential chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for this disease.

Methods and study design

Based on established criteria, we searched electronic databases including PubMed, Excerpta Medica Database (Embase), China National Knowledge Infrastruction (CNKI), Wanfang, and Weipu databases up to March 2014 to collect eligible studies. Relative risks (RRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Q and I2 test were applied to test statistical heterogeneities among studies. Publication bias of total effective rate was evaluated through a funnel plot and sensitive analysis was conducted.


We identified 10 Chinese studies including 1024 esophageal cancer patients. The RRs of total effective rate and 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rate for concurrent versus sequential CRT were 1.15 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.24), 1.15 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.26), 1.44 (95% CI 1.21 to 1.73), and 1.66 (95% CI 1.37 to 2.01), respectively, all with statistically significant differences (p<0.05). With regards to incidence of leukocytopenia, the RR for concurrent versus sequential CRT was 1.14 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.26) with significant difference (p<0.05). However, the RR of incidence of radiation esophagitis was 1.09 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.22) for concurrent versus sequential CRT without significant differences (p = 0.17).


Concurrent CRT was superior to sequential CRT for esophageal cancer management among Chinese people. Though higher toxic effects were revealed in concurrent CRT, it was tolerable. Therefore, concurrent CRT could be applied into esophageal cancer treatments for Chinese patients.

Tumori 2015; 101(4): 353 - 359




Fang Li, Tao Li, Li Liu, Jiahua Lv, Yanqiong Song, Churong Li, Peng Diao

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: None.

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  • Department of Radiation Oncology, Sichuan Cancer Hospital & Institute, Chengdu, Sichuan - China

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