Minimally Invasive Versus Open Esophageal Resection

Jennifer Straatman, Nicole Van Der Wielen, Miguel A. Cuesta, Freek Daams, Josep Roig Garcia, Luigi Bonavina, Camiel Rosman, Mark I. Van Berge Henegouwen, Suzanne S. Gisbertz, Donald L. Van Der Peet

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416 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate 3-year survival following a randomized controlled trial comparing minimally invasive with open esophagectomy in patients with esophageal cancer. Background: Research on minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) has shown faster postoperative recovery and a marked decrease in pulmonary complications. Debate is ongoing as to whether the procedure is equivalent to open resection regarding oncologic outcomes. The study is a follow-up study of the TIME-trial (traditional invasive vs minimally invasive esophagectomy, a multicenter, randomized trial). Methods: Between June 2009 and March 2011, patients with a resectable intrathoracic esophageal carcinoma, including the gastroesophageal junction tumors (Siewert I), were randomized between open and MI esophagectomy with curative intent. Primary outcome was 3-year disease-free survival. Secondary outcomes include overall survival, lymph node yield, short-term morbidity, mortality, complications, radicality, local recurrence, and metastasis. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with the Netherlands Trial Register, NTR TC 2452. Both trial protocol and short-term results have been published previously. Results: One hundred fifteen patients were included from 5 European hospitals and randomly assigned to open (n = 56) or MI esophagectomy (n = 59). Combined overall 3-year survival was 40.4% (SD 7.7%) in the open group versus 50.5% (SD 8%) in the minimally invasive group (P = 0.207). The hazard ratio (HR) is 0.883 (0.540 to 1.441) for MIE compared with open surgery. Disease-free 3-year survival was 35.9% (SD 6.8%) in the open versus 40.2% (SD 6.9%) in the MI group [HR 0.691 (0.389 to 1.239). Conclusions: The study presented here depicted no differences in disease-free and overall 3-year survival for open and MI esophagectomy. These results, together with short-term results, further support the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques in the treatment of esophageal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-236
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • esophageal cancer
  • minimally invasive esophagectomy
  • open esophagectomy
  • survival

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