Future directions in esophageal cancer therapy
Resection techniques for esophageal carcinoma continue to evolve, from endoscopic mucosal resection or endoscopic submucosal dissection for early stage disease to standard and robot-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy as part of multimodal therapy for locally advanced disease. Though currently limited to assessing conduit perfusion and sentinel lymph nodes, embedded technology in the robotic surgical platform will likely play an expanded role during esophagectomy in the future. The use of targeted therapies, checkpoint inhibitors, engineered immune cell therapy, and cancer vaccines show promise in the treatment of systemic disease. Radiation therapy techniques are becoming increasingly sophisticated and they may play a more active role in stage IV disease in the future.