International trends in oesophageal cancer survival by histological subtype between 1995 and 2014

Eileen Morgan*, Isabelle Soerjomataram, Anna T. Gavin, Mark J. Rutherford, Piers Gatenby, Aude Bardot, Jacques Ferlay, Oliver Bucher, Prithwish De, Gerda Engholm, Christopher Jackson, Serena Kozie, Alana Little, Bjorn Møller, Lorraine Shack, Hanna Tervonen, Vicky Thursfield, Sally Ann Vernon, Paul M. Walsh, Ryan R. WoodsChristian Finley, Neil Merrett, Dianne L. O'Connell, John V. Reynolds, Freddie Bray, Melina Arnold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Survival from oesophageal cancer remains poor, even across high-income countries. Ongoing changes in the epidemiology of the disease highlight the need for survival assessments by its two main histological subtypes, adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Methods The ICBP SURVMARK-2 project, a platform for international comparisons of cancer survival, collected cases of oesophageal cancer diagnosed 1995 to 2014, followed until 31 st December 2015, from cancer registries covering seven participating countries with similar access to healthcare (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK). 1-year and 3-year age-standardised net survival alongside incidence rates were calculated by country, subtype, sex, age group and period of diagnosis. Results 111 894 cases of AC and 73 408 cases of SCC were included in the analysis. Marked improvements in survival were observed over the 20-year period in each country, particularly for AC, younger age groups and 1 year after diagnosis. Survival was consistently higher for both subtypes in Australia and Ireland followed by Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, the UK and Canada. During 2010 to 2014, survival was higher for AC compared with SCC, with 1-year survival ranging from 46.9% (Canada) to 54.4% (Ireland) for AC and 39.6% (Denmark) to 53.1% (Australia) for SCC. Conclusion Marked improvements in both oesophageal AC and SCC survival suggest advances in treatment. Less marked improvements 3 years after diagnosis, among older age groups and patients with SCC, highlight the need for further advances in early detection and treatment of oesophageal cancer alongside primary prevention to reduce the overall burden from the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding The ICBP is funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer; Cancer Council Victoria; Cancer Institute New South Wales; Cancer Research UK; Danish Cancer Society; National Cancer Registry Ireland; The Cancer Society of New Zealand; NHS England; Norwegian Cancer Society; Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry; The Scottish Government; Western Australia Department of Health; Wales Cancer Network. Where authors are identified as personnel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer/WHO, the authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this article and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the International Agency for Research on Cancer/WHO.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


  • cancer epidemiology
  • cancer registries
  • histopathology
  • oesophageal cancer


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