Seventy-five studies were included in the review (3,124 participants; half of the studies included <20 patients). One study was a non-randomised controlled trial, fourteen studies were comparative cohort studies and the others were non-comparative case series. The authors stated that most of the studies were low quality (scored 4). Where reported, follow-up was up to 145 months
Endoscopic techniques: A complete response was achieved in 54% of patients with ACC and 71% of patients with SCC using photodynamic therapy (24/26 photodynamic therapy studies). In the one argon plasma coagulation study, ACC was eradicated in all three patients; similarly, complete eradication was achieved in all 16 ACC and SCC patients in the only study of radiofrequency ablation. In the one study of cryotherapy, 75% of 23 patients with ACC or SCC achieved complete response. Endoscopic mucosal resection was associated with complete response in 98% of ACC and 88% of SCC patients (seven studies).
Non-endoscopic techniques: In four out of six chemoradiotherapy studies, 86% of patients with SCC reported complete response; similar results were reported in the one study of both SCC and ACC patients (77%). In three of the radiotherapy studies that assessed complete response in patients with SCC only, the response rate was 81%. One study compared oesophagectomy study to photodynamic therapy and found no significant difference between groups in terms of complete response.
Survival: None of the studies of patients who received endoscopic versus non-endoscopic treatments reported overall or cause-specific survival. Other survival results were reported in the review.
Results were reported for recurrence and adverse events (details available in the full paper).