Background: Despite the poor prognosis of recurrent esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC), long-term survival could be achieved in a subset of patients who successfully underwent surgical resection for recurrence. In this study, we investigated the outcomes of surgical resection for lymph node (LN) or pulmonary (PUL) recurrence in ESCC patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of ESCC patients who underwent surgical resection between January 2008 and March 2015 for either LN or PUL recurrence after complete response (CR) by chemoradiotherapy or R0 esophagectomy. Every patient fulfilled the original institutional criteria: no recurrence at primary site; recurrence involving in only one organ; expectation of complete resection; and for PUL recurrence, no rapid growth with at least 2 months of observation. Results: Among the 13 patients analyzed, surgical resection was performed in nine and four patients with LN and PUL recurrence, respectively. R0 resection was achieved in all patients with no fatal surgical complications. Mean duration from the day of the first CR/R0 to the recurrence was 809 (110–2575) days. Median recurrence-free survival following surgical resection for recurrence and overall survival following the first diagnosis of recurrence was 387 and 1297 days, respectively. Conclusion: Surgical resection for LN or PUL recurrence of ESCC according to our institutional criteria can be performed safely for selected patients.
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