Esophageal cancer: surgery might not be necessary
“My research will likely make a very concrete difference for people with locally advanced esophageal cancer. Their current treatment consists of five weeks of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, after which their entire esophagus is surgically removed. For 29% of patients, however, this major surgery might not be necessary because the tumor tissue is gone as a result of the treatment. We currently do not know whether this is the case until after the surgery. I have shown that an MRI scan can help us find out which patients need surgery. And you know what really stood out to me? For my research, patients had to undergo three extra MRI scans as well as a gastroscopy, which is unpleasant. But nearly all people we asked, agreed to participate. I wish my results could benefit all patients with this cancer type already, but we will need to wait for the results of the two large-scale follow-up studies that are currently running in the Netherlands.” Sophie will defend her thesis on December 9.