PURPOSE: To determine treatment protocol for inoperable esophageal cancer patients, we evaluated survival rate and prognostic factors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We evaluated esophageal cancer treated by curative or palliative aim in KCCH from 1992 to 1996, retrospectively. Recurrent or underdose case below 40 Gy were excluded. The number of male and female were 35 and 5, respectively. Thirty-eight patients were squamous carcinoma and 2 patients were not biopsy proven. Ten patients were treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Median dose of radiation therapy was 59.4 Gy and the range was 40-60 Gy. RESULTS:The median survival is 6.5 months and 1-year survival rate was 28.3%. Age, location, radiation dose and chemotherapy were not significant prognostic factors. Median survivals of patients with below stage III and over stage IVA were 7.6 and 6.2 months respectively, but it is not significant. CONCLUSION:The survival for esophageal cancer is very poor. For patients with curative aim, chemotherapy must be considered. For patients with palliative aim, short-term external beam radiation therapy and/or brachytherapy must be considered.