European Society for Medical Oncology Congress

European Society for Medical Oncology Congress

Perspective from Arnaud D. Roth, MD
September 08, 2017
3 min read

Hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy reduces morbidity in esophageal cancer

Perspective from Arnaud D. Roth, MD
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MADRID — Hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy reduced incidence of major morbidity compared with open esophagectomy for patients with esophageal cancer, according to long-term results from a randomized, controlled phase 3 trial presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.

“Hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy allows for reduction of severe complications and reduction of major pulmonary complications without negative impact on oncological outcomes and [with] a trend to better survival,” Guillaume Piessen, MD, gastrointestinal surgeon at University Hospital C. Huriez in Lille, France, said during his presentation. “These findings provide strong evidence for the use of hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy for patients with resectable esophageal cancer [and the procedure] should be considered as a new standard.”

More than half of patients who undergo open esophagectomy experience postoperative morbidity. Pulmonary complications are particularly problematic.

In the multicenter, open-label MIRO trial, Piessen and colleagues assessed the efficacy of hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy.

The study — conducted at 13 centers between October 2009 and April 2012 — included 207 patients aged 18 to 75 years with resectable cancers in the middle or lower third of the esophagus.

Researchers randomly assigned 104 patients to transthoracic open esophagectomy and 103 patients to hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy, an Ivor Lewis procedure that consisted of laparoscopic gastric mobilization and open right thoracotomy.

Investigators credentialed surgeons prior to patient enrollment, standardized techniques and monitored their performance during the trial to ensure surgical quality.

Thirty-day grade 2 to grade 4 postoperative morbidity — measured by the Clavien-Dindo classification — served as the primary endpoint. Thirty-day postoperative mortality, OS and DFS served as secondary outcomes.

Median follow-up was 48.8 months, and minimum follow-up for all patients was 3 years.

Intention-to-treat analysis showed patients who underwent the hybrid minimally invasive procedure experienced a significantly lower rate of major postoperative morbidity (35.9% vs. 64.4%; OR = 0.31; 95% CI, 0.18-0.55) and major pulmonary complications (17.7% vs. 30.1%; P = .037).

Patients assigned hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy achieved higher rates of 3-year OS (67% vs. 54.8%) and DFS (57% vs. 48%).

“This represents an extremely important, well-designed and well-conducted study demonstrating that hybrid minimally invasive esophagectomy is an oncologically sound procedure,” Professor Ulrich Güller, MD, MHS, FEBS, faculty member in oncology and hematology at Kantonsspital St. Gallen in Switzerland, said in a press release. “Based on these results, the [hybrid minimally invasive approach] should become the new standard operating procedure for patients with mid- and low esophageal cancer.”


Güller also acknowledged Professor Christophe Mariette, MD, PhD, the first author of the MIRO trial, who died in July.

Mariette, surgical oncologist and professor of surgery at University Hospital of Lille in France, “was a model of a surgical scientist and an opinion leader in the field,” and his contributions to the MIRO trial were of “cardinal importance,” Güller said. – by Mark Leiser



Mariette C, et al. Abstract 615O_PR. Presented at European Society for Medical Oncology Congress; Sept. 8-12, 2017; Madrid.


Disclosures: The French National Cancer Institute funded this study. The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.