Table of Contents
ISRN Gastroenterology
Volume 2011, Article ID 719575, 9 pages
Research Article

Esophageal Stenting in the Setting of Malignancy

1St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA
2Surgical Oncology, Cancer Care Associates, St. Luke's Hospital and Health Network, 801 Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA

Received 23 May 2011; Accepted 15 June 2011

Academic Editors: Y. Chao and U. Klinge

Copyright © 2011 Juan Carlos Martinez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Esophageal cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, with many patients found to have locoregional or metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Because of this, cure may be unlikely, leading treatment efforts to focus more on symptom palliation and improving patient quality of life. The majority of patients with advanced disease suffer from some degree of dysphagia. Palliative efforts are therefore directed at relieving dysphagia, allowing patients to manage their oropharyngeal secretions, reduce aspiration risk, and maintain caloric intake orally. A variety of endoscopic treatment modalities have been utilized with these objectives in mind, with options determined by the location and size of the tumor, as well as the patient's expected prognosis. In this article, we review the use of endoscopically-placed stents for palliation in patients with advanced esophageal cancer. We discuss the history of stent use in such cases, as well as more recent developments in stent technology. We give an overview of some of the more commonly used stents in practice, discuss the technique of insertion, and survey the short- and long-term outcomes of stent placement.