Open Access Research article

Mid-esophagus unresectable cancer treated with a low cost stent. First experience

Valter N Felix1*, Alaor Caetano2, Jose P Cipullo3, Emiliano C Almodova3, Wagner Colaiacovo3 and Aldenir F Zamboti3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Surgical Division, University of São Paulo, School of Medicine (FMUSP). Rua Frei Caneca, 1407, c. 221. São Paulo, ZC 01307-909, Brazil

2 Multidisciplinary and Endoscopy Service, Rio Preto School of Medicine (FAMERP). Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 5416-São José do Rio Preto, ZC 15090-000, Brazil

3 Department of Endoscopy, Cancer Hospital. Rua Antenor Duarte Vilella, 1331-Barretos, ZC 14784-400, Brazil

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:486  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-486

Published: 10 November 2011



In the cancer of the esophagus, with recent technologic advances, self-expanding metal stents (SEMS) are at the forefront of the armamentarium for re-establishing luminal patency. Weighed against the numerous advantages of stents are the import conditions and the cost. In light of this, we tested new low cost prostheses having the basic needs and characteristics to aim a significant benefit to poor people having advanced esophageal cancer, in a Brazilian regional public hospital.


This initial experience included fifteen patients (eleven men and four women, 55 ± 6.17 years old), presenting esophageal cancer, located at the medium third of the thoracic esophagus, extending for 5.5-8 cm long, not suitable for surgical procedure because they had been staged on fourth grade of the disease, two of them having fistula communicating esophagus to respiratory tree. The stents were placed under endoscopic and fluoroscopic guidance, after attempting an esophageal dilatation. An appropriate covered stent was then deployed, twelve of 10 cm and three of 13 cm in length. A chest X-ray was done 2 h after the procedure and a barium swallow was performed within 12 hours. Seven days and monthly until complete a six month follow-up after the procedure the patients were questioned about presence of pain, regurgitation, heartburn, cough, and their alimentary behavior.


There were no severe complications and transient mild chest pain resolved until the seventh day after the stent deployment. Chest X-ray demonstrated expansion of the stent in all patients. In 2 cases of fistula, a barium swallow showed its complete sealing. The completion of the proposed follow-up was not achieved in three cases, limited by the patient's death until the third month, due to cancer progression. Recurrent dysphagia to paste food accounted for by tumor overgrowth proximal or distal to the stent and stent migration were not observed in the series.


The new low cost endoprostheses is effective and forthcoming increased experience and prospective trials including questionnaires to analyze quality of life will allow for more informed decisions tailoring to a particular patient situation or to unexpected complications.