Treatment for patients with esophageal cancer remains unsatisfactory. Although surgery alone or chemoradiotherapy have been generally accepted as reasonable options for patients with locoregional esophageal cancer, 5-year survival rate of either management is about 20%. The limited success of single modality treatment using radiotherapy or surgery has led to the investigation of multimodality therapies, combining chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. However, the appropriateness of such therapies remains unanswered. A number of prospective randomized trials of trimodality therapy versus surgery alone suggest benefits of combined-modality therapy. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy is an alternative treatment in selected resectable cases to show potential benefits in survival and local control. Patients with complete response following neoadjuvant therapy have consistent, substantial benefits in survival. Pretreatment staging is necessary for standardization of patients undergoing treatment protocols and for outcome evaluation. Biologic markers can be used to predict response to therapy and might allow designation of treatment based on the individual tumor. In the future, clinical trials testing optimal integration of preoperative regimen including new drugs may impact on the prognosis of esophageal cancer.