Basis for molecular diagnostics and immunotherapy for esophageal cancer

Joe Abdo, Devendra K. Agrawal, Sumeet K. Mittal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Introduction: Esophageal cancer (EC) is an extremely aggressive neoplasm, diagnosed in about 17,000 Americans every year with a mortality rate of more than 80% within five years and a median overall survival of just 13 months. For decades, the go-to regimen for esophageal cancer patients has been the use of taxane and platinum-based chemotherapy regimens, which has yielded the field’s most dire survival statistics. Areas covered: Combination immunotherapy and a more robust molecular diagnostic platform for esophageal tumors could improve patient management strategies and potentially extend lives beyond the current survival figures. Analyzing a panel of biomarkers including those affiliated with taxane and platinum resistance (ERCC1 and TUBB3) as well as immunotherapy effectiveness (PD-L1) would provide oncologists more information on how to optimize first-line therapy for EC. Expert commentary: Of the 12 FDA-approved therapies in EC, zero target the genome. A majority of the approved drugs either target or are effected by proteomic expression. Therefore, a broader understanding of diagnostic biomarkers could give more clarity and direction in treating esophageal cancer in concert with a greater use of immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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