Die Resultate aller therapeutischen Bemühungen beim Osophaguskarzinom sind quoad vitam unbefriedigend. Mit der alleinigen Radiotherapie werden bei kurativer Intention 5-Jahres-Überlebensraten von 10% und weniger erreicht bei allerdings negativ selektioniertem Krankengut. Akzeptabel sind hingegen die Palliativergebnisse. Die Ansprechraten liegen zwischen 60 und 80%, die mittlere Remissionsdauer beträgt 3 bis 9 Monate. Bei einem Drittel der Patienten läβt sich eine beschwerdefreie Nahrungspassage für die gesamte Dauer der Erkrankung erreichen. Trotz der notwendigen hohen Dosis von 50 bis 70 Gy sind therapieassoziierte Morbidität und Letalität gering. Gründe für die niedrige Nebenwirkungs- und Komplikationsrate sind eine subtile rechnergestützte Bestrahlungsplanung auf CT-Basis sowie der Einsatz moderner Megavoltbestrahlungsgeräte.

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