Latest Information about Esophageal Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Pictured: Manjit Bains

Thoracic surgeon Manjit Bains (left) meets with a patient

Memorial Sloan Kettering is home to more than 30 doctors and nurses who care for people with esophageal cancer. Because we have experts in all disciplines that are important for diagnosing and treating this disease, we can provide therapies for people at any stage, from precancerous lesions to metastatic cancer.

Explore our recently updated guide to esophageal cancer to learn more about how we care for patients. Our multidisciplinary team approach is particularly important because esophageal cancer is often best managed using a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. We consider all possible approaches to treatment, and ensure that your care is well coordinated and personalized to your specific needs.

You can also learn about our clinical trials for people with esophageal cancer, and about the pain management and palliative treatments we offer, which can improve your quality of life during and after treatment.


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My mother was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma (non-hodgkins) at Beth Israel Medical Center. We have heard so much good things about your facility and I am eager and hoping to admit my mother in your care. There is a slight issue: we are not sure whether you accept our insurance and would like to inquire about it.

Thank you for contacting us. We recommend that you call our Physician Referral Service at 800-525-2225 to discuss making an appointment and to address your questions about insurance.

I was diagnosed with EC in Feb 2010. My oncologist, who was treating me for a chronic for of Leukemia gave me my prognosis. One week of self administered chemo with a port and a pump to be used at home. Followed by two weeks of radiation and then on to surgery to remove my esophagus. I insisted on seeking a second opinion at MSKCC on the advice of friends. I met with Drs Bains & Ilson who informed me that they do "everything the can to treat it with medicine" and that the protocols perscribed to me were 20 years old. Needless to say, I chose MSKCC to treat my cancer. My first follow up following my treatment which was a combination of the latest chemo followed by 5+ weeks of daily radiation was July 21, 2010 and no cancer was found. I continue to have follow ups 3 then 6 months respectively and at my last one was declared NED. No Evidence of Desease. Thanks to Dr Ilson I am here cancer free and cured without the pain of surgery. I can't say enough about the staff and treatment I received at MSKCC compared to the alternative I was originally presented with.

Hi Bob,
Could I chat with you about your experience? My husband has been diagnosed with EC and has a couple other spots that have come up. I'd like to hear about how your treatment was. Thanks.

My father has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer at the age of 71 years and he is under treatment at the Stanford Cancer Hospital. He is on carboplatin and capecitabine chemotherapy. Are there people out there who have done well on this protocol ?

My name is Yves Chery since june 2012 I diagnosed with esophaeal cancer I went to GSH hospital they put a stern on me and send me home I was vomining blood ,go doctor do nothing back home agains. Decide to go to westchester hospital I was admit they doctor do a lot test and decide to star with radiation was every day for 3 month can't take it they decide to start chemotherapy (the tumor never remove )I can't eat they put a tube to my left and after they send me to nursing home ,be on nursing I was eating on the tube and take my medication on the tube . One day the tube take out the nursing home send me to GSH hospital to fix the tube .Be there a doctor try 3 times to fix the tube ,the tube was not fix and he put a big tube (beford he was a small one)and still liking. They send me to nursing home,liking to much nusing home send me back to GSH they refuse to admit me. Now I call my physian in westchester to fix the tube he say come .Went there two physian try but nothing can't fix, all this time no food I lost a lot. I stay one month nothing happend now they send to hospice and tel me I am terminal. I was diagnosed at 41yrs now I have 42yrs and they said I am terminal I believe not why I am loking for second opinion in MSKCC if they can help me. Is not to late for me

Thank you to respond on my comment, I which a doctor will please to see me.

I saw Doctor Ilson 5/20/13. I had been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal adenocarcinoma. However after radiation and chemo, no lesions were noted on my PET scan. Doctor Ilson advised against any surgery, and said it would recur. In late August I was diagnosed with metastatic leptomenigeal adenocarcinoma. I presently take Xeloda. Are there any proven chemotherapeutic agents that cross the blood brain barrier, to help this condition? I would appreciate Dr. Ilson`s input. If need be I would be more than willing to make another appointment.

Dear Dr. Pelicci, we are unable to answer specific medical questions on the blog. We recommend you make an appointment to consult directly with Dr. Ilson to get your questions answered. Here is some patient education information about treatment for leptomeningeal metastases, which may be useful:….
Thank you for your comment.

In October of 2014 my husband, Robert was diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma aklnegative T cell. While undergoing chemo and having related PET scans esophageal cancer was detected. He followed the chemo for the non hodgkins with more chemo and 33 proton radiation treatments at Univ of Penn ( Dr. Plasteras) the follow up PET scan after this detected Metastatic Esophageal cancer near his spine and with trace amounts in his liver and lung. He is currently receiving radiation for the problem near his spine at Chester County Hospital( affiliated with Univ of Penn). He is to receive 15 treatments. We are wondering if there is a more proactive path we should be investigating? Thanks for your assistance. Janet Snyder

My mother was recently diagnosed with upper esophageal cancer. A feeding tube was placed since she was unable to swallow liquids or solids. She has gone through almost 5 weeks of radiation & chemotherapy and was informed that 30 days from last chemo/radiation treatment either a cat scan or pet scan will be given including a swallow study test to determine the outcome of treatments given. I am trying to find a surgeon to see whether a surgery can be done or not. Any links that I can take a look at for esophageal cancer surgeons. All records have been faxed already trying to determine which surgeons to see regarding this matter. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My husband had esophageal cancer the surgery was successful in removing the tumor no mets. They removed approx 4inches of esophagus and the top of his stomach which was also effected by the cancer. He recovered well from he surgery but developed fistulas which required him not to eat or drink for weeks and a stent was placed in his esophagus. He did do a 5weeks of Chemo and Radiation for precaution.
Now he has been unable to eat normally, he often vomits/spits up mucus. He states that he feels it bubbling in the back of his throat. We have tried several different types of foods. He has aspirated several times and had aspiration pneumonia 3 times now. It will be a year in March that he had his surgery. We are so discouraged wondering if he will ever eat again. I am a nurse he gets fed 5-6 cans of Jevity through his J-tube and 1000ml of Normal Saline every day. He cannot drink thin liquids at all.
Does anyone have any help for us.
Thank you
Nora & Anthony Fontana

Dear Nora, we’re sorry to hear your husband is going through this. We recommend you ask his doctor for referral to an occupational therapist who has experience in working with patients who have trouble with eating and swallowing. Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you.

Does MSKCC give adjuvant chemo after esophaectomy if there are clear margins and no positive lymph nodes found after harvesting 29?
A .4cm (about 1/16 of an inch) foci was found in the inflamed area where the tumor was.

Dear Barbara, according to esophageal cancer expert Daniela Molena, we don’t do adjuvant chemotherapy if the patient had induction and all nodes and margins are negative. She said that even for positive nodes, the data are not very encouraging for adjuvant chemo in patients treated with induction and surgery. Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you.