PURPOSE: Patients with esophageal cancer treated with surgery plus postoperative radiotherapy or radiation alone were retrospectively analyzed. METHOD: From August 1986 to June 1992, 93 patients who were treated with 30 Gy or more in the Department of Therapeutic Radiology were evaluated. Median age was 59 years. Ninety one were male and remaining 2 were female. Patients with stage II,III, and IV disease were 25, 62 and 6 respectively. Thirteen of the tumor were located in upper one third, 56 in middle one third and 24 in lower one third. Forty three patients had tumors 5cm or less in size and remaining 50 had greater than 5cm. Of those 93 patients, 41 were treated with surgery plus postoperative radiotherapy and 52 with radiation alone. Dose of radiation ranged from 34 to 66.6 Gy. Follow up period was 12 to 61 months. RESULTS: Stage of the tumor was the most important prognostic factor of the evaluated factors. Median survival for entire group of patients was 12 months. Median survival for patients treated with surgery plus postoperative radiotherapy and radiation alone were 15 and 10 months, respectively. There was no difference of 2 year survival. Median survival was 21 months for Stage II and 10 months for Stage III disease, In StageII disease, that was 21 months for postoperative group and 17. 5 months for radiation alone group. Five year survival were 27.5% and 9%, respectively. CONCLUSION: This study showed that the result of surgery plus postoperative radiotherapy was not different from that of radiation alone despite of slightly longer median survival in postoperative group. Also stage of the disease was the most important prognostic factor.