Background: Cervical esophageal cancer (CEC) carries a poor prognosis; however, due to its low incidence, optimal treatment for CEC remains to be established. The purpose of this study was to clarify the current status of treatment of CEC in Japan and obtain evidence for establishing the appropriate treatment method. Patients and methods: We asked specialist training facilities accredited by the Japanese Broncho-Esophageal Society to register data on CEC cases that received curative treatment from January 2009 to December 2014, and conducted a retrospective review of the clinical data of 302 cases registered from 27 facilities. Results: In regard to the initial therapy, of the 302 patients, 33 had undergone endoscopic resection, 41 had undergone surgery, 67 had received induction chemotherapy (IC), and 143 had received chemoradiotherapy (CRT). There were no significant differences in the 5-year overall survival rates among the patient groups that had received surgery, IC or CRT as the initial treatment; advanced stage and recurrent nerve invasion were identified as independent poor prognostic factors. Among the patients who had received IC or CRT as laryngeal-preserving surgery was not indicated at the time of the initial diagnosis, the functional laryngeal preservation rate at the end of the observation period was 34.8%. Conclusion: Even in patients with advanced CEC, there is the possibility of preserving the larynx by adopting IC or CRT. However, if the laryngeal function cannot be preserved, there is a risk of complications from aspiration pneumonia, so that the choice of treatment should be made carefully.
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