Esophageal Cancer TreatmentIf you’ve been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, the John Theurer Cancer Center offers a team of thoracic cancer experts working together to diagnose and treat your cancer. Our goal is to preserve your quality of life and your ability to eat, drink and talk while successfully treating your cancer.
Our precision medicine approach means that your treatment plan is designed for the exact biology of your cancer. Your treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or radiation therapy, choosing the approaches that give you the best possible outcome.
SurgeryJohn Theurer Cancer Center offers surgeons specially trained in thoracic cancers, including esophageal cancer. We perform the most advanced, minimally invasive approaches to remove your cancer while protecting structures essential for eating and talking. We will recommend the best approach for your cancer, depending on where it is located and if it has spread beyond your esophagus.
To successfully treat esophageal cancer, doctors often remove part of the esophagus and if necessary, part of the stomach and nearby lymph nodes (esophagectomy). The remaining portion of the stomach is usually then re-attached to the remaining esophagus to allow patients to eat normally. The expert thoracic surgeons at John Theurer Cancer Center are leaders in performing these operations.
Your esophageal cancer may have genetic mutations that allow it to avoid your immune system and cause it to grow. We use your genetic tumor profile to match you with targeted medical therapies best suited for the biology of your cancer. Chemotherapy may be delivered through an IV or in pill form. Sometimes chemotherapy is given prior to surgery to help shrink your tumor or tumors.
One of the most recent advances in thoracic cancer care is immunotherapy. John Theurer Cancer Center is a leader in immunotherapy called checkpoint inhibitors. Checkpoint inhibitors allow the immune system to be more active in attacking cancer cells, especially for patients who have treatment-resistant cancers.
Your thoracic cancer team includes radiation oncologists at John Theurer Cancer Center who can determine if radiation therapy may be effective for your cancer. Your personalized cancer treatment plan may include radiation therapy before surgery to shrink your tumor or tumors, or following surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent recurrence. We specialize in several forms of the latest radiation therapy, including:
- External Beam Radiation (EBRT) Can be used on its own or in combination with brachytherapy, depending on how aggressive your cancer is.
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) Uses images taken before and during your treatment to see how you are responding and ensures you only receive as much as you need.
A mesh-like tube called a stent can be inserted to open the area of the esophagus blocked by a tumor. This helps relieve pain and allows food to pass, improving your quality of life.
Clinical Trials for Esophageal CancerThe thoracic oncologists at John Theurer Cancer Center are actively involved in clinical trials that assess new treatments that have the potential to be more effective than existing therapies. John Theurer Cancer Center conducts hundreds of clinical trials and is the top enroller of patients in Phase 1 clinical trials in New Jersey. This gives you access to clinical trials that offer hope if your esophageal cancer returns, spreads, is unable to be surgically removed, or does not respond to standard treatments. You may be able to receive an innovative therapy, including investigational drugs that other centers do not offer.
Why Choose John Theurer Cancer Center for Lung and Thoracic Cancer Treatment
U.S. News & World Report recognizes Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center as a premier cancer center in New Jersey.
Your entire care team works together to make sure your experience with us is a positive one.
Our average overnight hospital stay following lobectomy for lung cancer is half the national average (two days versus four days).
Cancer surgeons at John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center perform more minimally invasive cancer surgeries than any other center in New Jersey.
Our Lung Cancer and Thoracic Cancer Specialists
Our lung cancer specialists know the treatment of lung cancers is complex, and we support you every step of the way with comprehensive, customized care.