Health Alert:

See the latest Coronavirus Information including testing sites, visitation restrictions, appointments and scheduling, and more.

What to Expect at Penn Medicine

Female provider smiling at older couple

At Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, we have a variety of clinical trials and support services for esophageal cancer patients — many of which are available only at Penn Medicine.

Esophageal Cancer Clinical Trials

The majority of esophageal cancer patients fall in the middle stages of disease and are almost always treated with tri-modality therapy: a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. We consistently run clinical trials on the chemotherapeutic agents that we use. The tumors of select patients are tested for different genetic markers as we work toward developing targeted therapies to improve long-term outcomes.

We are also studying the use of standard photon radiation versus proton radiation when treating esophageal cancer. We want to determine if there are benefits to using very focused radiation, because the esophagus is located near many vital organs, including the heart and the great vessels (the superior and inferior vena cava, the pulmonary artery, the pulmonary vein and the aorta).

Esophageal Cancer Support Group

Penn Medicine has an active support group for esophageal cancer patients and their loved ones to attend before, during and after treatment.

As part of a team of support, members of a group of esophageal cancer survivors regularly visit patients who are in the hospital recovering from esophagectomies. They are available to answer questions that even surgeons can’t, because the surgeons themselves have never had an esophagectomy.

Esophageal Cancer Support Services

We offer a wide variety of support programs and services to help patients and their loved ones manage the physical and emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Because cancer can affect every aspect of your life, patients and families benefit from services that address all aspects of a cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. We believe that care should go beyond medical treatment by providing you with the tools to manage every stage of the process — from understanding your disease, to managing treatment side effects and recovery, and receiving the emotional support you need.

Support services for cancer include: