The Impact of Tumor Expression of Erythropoietin Receptors and Erythropoietin on Clinical Outcome of Esophageal Cancer Patients Treated With Chemoradiation

Dirk Rades, Helmut Golke, Steven E. Schild, Ergin Kilic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Background: To investigate the impact of tumor erythropoietin receptors (Epo-R) and erythropoietin (Epo) expression in 64 patients with Stage III esophageal cancer receiving or not receiving erythropoietin during chemoradiation. Materials and Methods: The impact of tumor Epo-R expression, Epo expression, and 10 additional factors (age, Karnofsky-Performance-Score [KPS], tumor length, T and N stage, histology and grading, hemoglobin during radiotherapy, erythropoietin administration, surgery) on overall survival (OS) and locoregional control (LC) was evaluated. Results: Improved OS was associated with low (≤20%) Epo expression (p = 0.049), KPS >80 (p = 0.008), T3 stage (p = 0.010), hemoglobin ≥12 g/dL (p < 0.001), and surgery (p = 0.010). Erythropoietin receptor expression showed a trend (p = 0.09). Locoregional control was associated with T stage (p = 0.005) and hemoglobin (p < 0.001), almost with erythropoietin administration (p = 0.06). On multivariate analyses, OS was associated with KPS (p = 0.045) and hemoglobin (p = 0.032), LC with hemoglobin (p < 0.001). Patients having low expression of both Epo-R and Epo had better OS (p = 0.003) and LC (p = 0.043) than others. Two-year OS was nonsignificantly better (p = 0.25) in patients with low Epo-R expression receiving erythropoietin (50%) than in those with higher Epo-R expression receiving erythropoietin (21%), low Epo-R expression/no erythropoietin administration (29%), or higher Epo-R expression/no erythropoietin administration (18%). Two-year LC rates were, respectively, 65%, 31%, 26%, and 29% (p = 0.20). Results for Epo expression were similar. Conclusions: Higher Epo-R expression or Epo expression seemed to be associated with poorer outcomes. Patients with low expression levels receiving erythropoietin seemed to do better than patients with higher expression levels or not receiving erythropoietin. The data need to be confirmed in a larger series of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2008



  • Chemoradiation
  • Clinical outcome
  • Epo expression
  • Epo-R expression
  • Esophageal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation

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