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Contemporary outcomes of left thoraco-abdominal esophagectomy due to cancer in the esophagus or gastroesophageal junction, a multicenter cohort study.

Surgery for cancer of the esophagus or gastro-esophageal junction can be performed with a variety of minimally invasive and open approaches. The left thoracoabdominal esophagectomy (LTE) is an open technique that gives an opportunity to operate in the chest and abdomen with excellent exposure of the gastro-esophageal junction through a single incision, and there is currently no equivalent minimally invasive technique available. The aim of this multi-institutional review was to study a large contemporary international study cohort of patients treated with LTE. An international multicenter cohort study was performed including all patients treated with LTE at six high-volume centers for gastro-esophageal cancer surgery between 2012 and 2022. Patient data were prospectively collected in each participating centers' institutional database. Information about patient, tumor, and treatment details were collected. The study cohort included a total of 793 patients treated with LTE during the study period. The most frequently observed complications were pneumonia in 185/727 (25.5%) patients and atrial fibrillation in 91/727 (12.5%). Anastomotic leak occurred in 35/727 (4.8%) patients; no patient suffered from conduit necrosis. Thirty-day mortality occurred in 15/785 (1.9%) patients and 90-day mortality in 39/785 (5.0%) patients. Factors with statistically significant association with survival were American Society for Anesthesiologists-score, tumor location, tumor stage, and tumor free resection margins. Neoadjuvant therapy was not associated with increased survival compared to surgery alone but neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy compared to neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed statistically significant improved survival with hazard ratio 0.60 (95% confidence intervals:0.44-0.80, P = 0.001) in a multivariable adjusted model. This study demonstrates that LTE can be applied in selected patients with results that are comparable to other large studies of open and minimally invasive surgery for esophageal or gastro-esophageal cancer at high-volume centers.

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