Esophageal Cancer Treatment

At Fox Chase Cancer Center, our multidisciplinary medical team works closely to accurately diagnose your esophageal cancer and help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment. As a regional and national leader in cancer care, the Center has a wealth of experience treating all types of esophageal cancer.

Our skilled gastrointestinal oncology team meets regularly to review patient cases and map out a personalized treatment plan. We strive to treat your cancer in the least invasive way possible using innovative surgical techniques and combination therapies that give you the best chance of a successful outcome.

Our doctors are also actively involved in developing new therapies for treating esophageal cancer. Through clinical trials, we are able to offer our patients access to promising treatments and experimental therapies that may not be available elsewhere. Ask your Fox Chase doctor if a clinical trial is right for you.

Your Treatment Options

Treatment for esophageal cancer depends on the stage, type, and grade of your cancer; whether it has invaded other tissues; and your age, health history, and personal goals. Your personalized treatment plan will be created after consultations with multiple physicians within our multidisciplinary team.


Most patients with esophageal cancer are treated for locally advanced disease. Fox Chase surgeons offer an individually tailored surgical approach to esophageal cancer that takes into account the patient’s functional status and stage. We offer minimally-invasive esophagectomy to most patients, even after a patient has received chemoradiation.

Gastrointestinal surgeons at Fox Chase Cancer Center are regional and national leaders in performing complex surgeries for patients with esophageal cancer.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (external or internal) may be used to treat esophageal cancer to shrink tumors prior to surgery, prevent recurrence after surgery, alleviate pain, or treat disease that has spread. Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is used to spare normal tissue from the effects of radiation therapy and to maximize the amount of radiation that can be delivered safely.

Radiation therapy is administered by Fox Chase radiation oncologists, who were the first in the region to integrate the CT Scan and MRI into treatment planning. Fox Chase Cancer Center is a national leader in the use of cutting edge techniques in radiation therapy to treat patients with many different types of cancer.

Systemic Therapy

The medical oncologists at Fox Chase are regional and national leaders in the treatment of esophageal cancer. As part of the multidisciplinary team, your medical oncologist will help to determine your personalized treatment plan, which may include systemic therapies such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy, either as standard of care or as part of a clinical trial.

Systemic therapy may be given before or after surgery and may also be recommended to patients who are diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic cancer).

Endoscopic Therapy

Some esophageal cancers, if detected at a very early stage, can be treated endoscopically. The interventional gastrointestinal endoscopy team is highly experienced with endoscopic resection techniques and other treatment options. A variety of endoscopic treatments, such as esophageal stent placement and tumor ablation, can also be used to alleviate symptoms caused by esophageal cancers.