Bibliometric Analysis of the top 50 Most-cited Articles of Esophagus Cancer

Idriss H. Musa1, Taha H. Musa2, Hassan H. Musa3, Reem M.H. Balila4, Mahamed E. Ahmed4*

1 Sudanese Medical Specilization Board, General Surgery, Khartoum, Sudan;
2 Biomedical Research Institute, Darfur College, Nyala, Sudan;
3 Faculty of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Khartoum, Sudan;
4 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.

Conflict-of-interest statement: The author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http: //creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Correspondence to: Professor Mahamed E. Ahmed, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.
Email: rasheid@usa.net

Received: June 23, 2020
Revised: February 10, 2021
Accepted: February 20, 2021
Published online: May 7, 2021


A wealth of articles were published on Esophagus Cancer (EC) indexed in many databases in the world. But there is no comprehensive bibliometric analysis to summarized EC research. The study aimed to identify and provide a practical summary of the 50 most influential articles written on EC. Top 50 article search was conducted in July 2020 using MesH database of medical subject headings of the US National Library of Medicine. Data were evaluated based on the title, trends, citations report, authorship, countries/regions, organizations, and journals. The retrieved data were analyzed using, HistCite, VOSviewer 1.6.10 and R-package. The top 50 articles include 31(62%) full research paper, 10(20%) proceedings, and 9 (18%) review articles. The most cited articles were published between 1961 and 2019, with citation ranging from 329 to 2283. The majority of articles originated from the United States (60%), Germany (21%), Japan (10%), and China (10%). The National Cancer Institute and the University of Washington were the most productive institutions. Blot WJ, and Vaughan TL, were the most prolific author. Most articles were published by the New England Journal of Medicine, followed by Gastroenterology and Journal of Clinical Oncology. The top three co-cited journals were the Gastroenterology, Cancer Research and American Journal of Gastroenterology, and International Journal of Cancer. We identified the top 50 most-cited articles and hosted keywords used in EC, in addition to the most productive authors, institution, and countries that provided a systematic overview of research and information that may offer deep insights into the study in the medical field and policymaker to prioritizing future research efforts in EC research.

Key words: Helicobacter pylori; Gastritic Atrophy; Intestinal metaplasia

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by ACT Publishing Group Ltd. All rights reserved.

Musa IH, Musa TH, Musa HH, Balila RMH, Ahmed ME. Bibliometric Analysis of the top 50 Most-cited Articles of Esophagus Cancer. Journal of Tumor 2021; 9(1): 572-578 Available from: URL: http://www.ghrnet.org/index.php/jt/article/view/3148


The Esophageal Cancer (EC) is one of the eighth most common causes of cancer death worldwide. Moreover, it is considered the public health issues due to it is incredibly aggressive nature and have a poor survival rate[1]. It is known by two major types, including a histologic subtype of Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and Adenocarcinomas (AC) [2-4]. Epidemiologically Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC) is more common in the developing world, while Adenocarcinomas (AC) is more common in the developed country[4]. Risk factors vary between countries and cultures, but in general, it is a disease of poor nutrition, poor oral hygiene, and social deprivation. Smoking and alcohol consumption have strong associations with EC[5,6]. In the last 30 years, the incidence of esophageal and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma has steadily increased in the world. The increase in incidence rate is approximately seven-fold compare with other types it is substantial increase than that of several malignancies, including melanoma, prostate cancer, and breast cancer[6-8]. On the other hands, the side effect of EC has been reported that affects more than 450000 people worldwide which needed argent management[7].

Due to the limited published bibliometric studies on EC globally. There is no bibliometric analysis has been performed for the top 50 influence papers in EC to provide researchers or scientist with a practical guide. Many bibliometric analyses has to be done to draw attention to valuable articles that are most cited. The bibliometric review is the analysis of the publications that have been widely used across diverse fields[8], to evaluate and estimate the importance of published articles or trends on a unique topic of scientific literature which issued by many scholars institutions of a specific place at a certain period and on a specific topic[9-11].

This is the first bibliometric study to be conducted showing the output of the previous work performed by a scientific researcher. Therefore, biometrics is a quantitative study of various aspects of the literature on a topic and is used to identify the pattern of publication, authorship, and secondary journal coverage to gain insight into the dynamics of growth of knowledge in the areas under consideration for better understanding the growth and development of the research output in the Esophageal Cancer.


A comprehensive literature search of EC was conducted on July 15, 2020, the citation search was performed using the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-E) and Social Science citation index (SSCI) of the ISI Web of Science as follows: Using the entry Terms of the MesH database (Medical Subject Headings) of the US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health) [24]. Using the search query is guaranteed. The used search term was: Title:(esophag* AND oesophag* carcinom*OR Cancer of Esophagus* OR Cancer of the Esophagus* OR Esophageal Cancer* OR Esophagus Cancer* OR Esophagus Neoplasm* OR Neoplasms, Esophageal*) Refined by [excluding] PUBLICATION YEARS: (2020), for all documents of esophagus cancer indexes: (SCI-EXPANDED, SSCI) Web of Science Core Collection. Finally, 9,021 publications were identified in both original articles and review paper.

Data were extracted within the single day by two researchers (IHM and THM), respectively, to avoid the update of WOS databases. They read the extracted documents and screened the relevant articles according to the inclusion and exclusion criterion. Finally, the top 50 cited articles were analysed according to the annual trend of publication, a total number of global citations journals, authorship, countries, institutions, study design, study field using the bibliometric analysis software. There is no ethical approval required because we used WOS public databases which is publically available and did not involve any human subjects.

Data analysis

Data were analysed based on the title, trends of the most cited articles, a number of citations, authorship, countries/regions, organizations, and productive journals. Data were retrieved and analyzed by using, HistCite[12], R-package[13], and VOSviewer 1.6.10[14].


Top 50 cited article on Esophagus Cancer

The basic information of retrieved documents on EC is listed in (Table 1). The top 50 documents include, 31 (62%) full research articles, 10 (20%) proceedings article, and 9 (18%) review articles. The top-cited article highlighted the use of preoperative chemoradiotherapy to improved survival among patients with potentially curable esophageal or esophagogastric-junction cancer[15]. The number of citations ranges from 329 to 2283 (Table 2). The top 50 cited article in EC has received 29374 citations, and a majority of articles were published in the 1991-2000 accounting 23 (46%), followed by 2001-2010 accounting 16 (32%) (Table 3).

Table 1 Main Information on top 50 cited paper in EC.
Sources (Journals)28
Average years from publication21.4
Average citations per documents587.5
Average citations per year per doc32.75
Document types n(%) 
Article31 (62.0)
Article; proceedings paper10 (20.0)
Review9 (18.0)
Document contents 
Keywords Plus228
Author's Keywords50
Author appearances367
Authors of single-authored documents4
Authors of multi-authored documents312
Authors collaboration 
Single-authored documents4
Documents per Author0.158
Authors per document6.32
Co-Authors per documents7.34
Collaboration index6.78

Table 2 The top 50 cited article on Esophagus Cancer.
Rank First Author , ArticleTGSGCS/t
1Van Hagen P, et al. Preoperative Chemoradiotherapy for Esophageal or Junctional Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2012; 366 (22): 2074-20842283761
2Enzinger PC, Mayer RJ. Medical progress-Esophageal cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 2003; 349 (23): 2241-22522010167.5
3Herskovic A, et al. Combined Chemotherapy And Radiotherapy Compared With Radiotherapy Alone In Patients With cancer of The Esophagus. New England Journal of Medicine. 1992; 326 (24): 1593-1598149364.91
4Cooper JS, et al. Chemoradiotherapy of locally advanced esophageal cancer - Long-term follow-up of a prospective randomized trial (RTOG 85-01). Jama-Journal of The American Medical Association.1999; 281 (17): 1623-1627116272.63
5Bosset JF, et al. Chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery compared with surgery alone in squamous-cell cancer of the esophagus. New England Journal Of Medicine. 1997; 337(3): 161-167101656.44
6Kelsen DP, et al. Chemotherapy followed by surgery compared with surgery alone for localized esophageal cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 1998; 339 (27): 1979-1984.95356.06
7Minsky BD, et al. INT 0123 (radiation therapy oncology group 94-05) phase III trial of combined-modality therapy for esophageal cancer: High-dose versus standard-dose radiation therapy. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2002; 20 (5): 1167-1174.91070
8Tepper J, et al. Phase III trial of trimodality therapy with cisplatin, fluorouracil, radiotherapy, and surgery compared with surgery alone for esophageal cancer: Calgb 9781.Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2008; 26(7): 1086-1092834119.14
9Bedenne L, et al. Chemoradiation followed by surgery compared with chemoradiation alone in squamous cancer of the esophagus: FFCD 9102.Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2007: 1160-1168.72891
10Akiyama H, et al. Radical Lymph-Node Dissection for Cancer of the Thoracic Esophagus. Annals of Surgery. 1994; 220(3): 364-37367632.19
11Yang CS. Research on Esophageal Cancer in China-A Review. Cancer Research. 1980; 40(8): 2633-2644.65918.83
12Mirvish SS. Role of N-Nitroso Compounds (NOC) And N-Nitrosation in Etiology of Gastric, Esophageal, Nasopharyngeal and Bladder-Cancer And Contribution to Cancer of Known Exposures to NOC. Cancer Letters. 1995; 93 (1): 17-48.63231.6
13Knyrim K, et al. A Controlled trial of an expansile Metal Stent for palliation of Esophageal obstruction due to Inoperable Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 1993; 329 (18): 1302-1307.61628
14 Shaheen NJ, et al. Is there publication bias in the reporting of cancer risk in Barrett's esophagus? Gastroenterology. 2000; 119 (2): 333-338.59239.47
15Rheeder JP, et al. Fusarium-Moniliforme and Fumonisins in Corn I Relation to Human Esophageal Cancer In Transkei. Phytopathology. 1992; 82 (3): 353-357.57525
16Allum WH, et al. Long-Term Results of a Randomized Trial of Surgery With or Without Preoperative Chemotherapy in Esophageal Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2009; 27 (30): 5062-5067.53589.17
17Ell C, et al. Endoscopic mucosal resection of early cancer and high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus. Gastroenterology. 2000 APR; 118(4): 670-677.51234.13
18Ohigashi Y, et al. Clinical significance of programmed death-1 ligand-1 and programmed death-1 ligand-2 expression in human esophageal cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 2005; 11(8): 2947-2953.50850.8
19AlSarraf M, et al. Progress report of combined chemoradiotherapy versus radiotherapy alone in patients with esophageal cancer: An intergroup study. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 1997; 15 (1): 277-284.50227.89
20Reid BJ, et al. Predictors of progression to cancer in Barrett's esophagus: Baseline histology and flow Cytometry identify low- and high-risk patient subsets. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2000; 95(7): 1669-1676.49332.87
21Zhang YW. Epidemiology of esophageal cancer. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2013; 19 (34):5598-5606.477238.5
22Urschel JD, et al. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared neoadjuvant chemoradiation and surgery to surgery alone for respectable esophageal cancer. American Journal of Surgery. 2003185 (6): 538-543.46138.42
23Chu FS, LI GY . Simultaneous Occurrence of Fumonisin B-1 And Other Mycotoxins In Moldy Corn Collected from the Peoples-Republic-of-China In Regions with high incidences of Esophageal Cancerc. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 1994 ; 60(3): 847-852.44621.24
24Nygaard K, et al. Preoperative Radiotherapy Prolongs Survival in Operable Esophageal-Carcinoma -A Randomized, multicenter study of preoperative Radiotherapy And Chemotherapy-The 2nd Scandinavian Trial in Esophageal Cancer. World journal of surgery. 1992; 16(6): 1104-1110.44319.26
25Engel LS, et al. Population attributable risks of esophageal and gastric cancers. Journal Of The National Cancer Institute. 2003; 95(18): 1404-1413.43836.5
26W Thiel PG, et al. Natural Occurrence of some Fusarium Mycotoxins In Corn from Low and High Esophageal Cancer Prevalence Areas of The Transkei, Southern Africa. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 1990; 38 (10): 1900-1903.43617.44
27Hollstein MC, et al. Frequent mutation of the p53 gene in human esophageal cancer. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the united states of America. 1990; 87(24): 9958-9961.42517
28Franceschi S, et al. Smoking And Drinking In Relation to Cancers of The Oral Cavity, Pharynx, Larynx, And Esophagus In Northern Italy. Cancer. 1990; 50 (20): 6502-6507.41716.68
29Tixier F, et al. Intratumor Heterogeneity characterized by Textural Features on Baseline F-18-Fdg Pet images Predicts Response to Concomitant Radio chemotherapy in Esophageal Cancer. Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 2011; 52 (3): 369-378.417104.25
30Tran GD, et al. Prospective study of risk factors for esophageal and gastric cancers in the Linxian General Population Trial cohort in China. International Journal Of Cancer. 2005; 113(3): 456-463.41541.5
31Shimada Y., et al. Characterization of 21 newly established esophageal cancer cell-lines. Cancer. 1992; 69 (2):277-28439717.26
32Wynder EL, et al. A Study of Etiological factors In Cancer of Esophagus. Cancer. 1961; 14(2): 3893967.33
33Vaughan TL, et al. Obesity, Alcohol, And Tobacco as Risk-Factors for Cancers of The Esophagus And Gastric Cardia - Adenocarcinoma Versus Squamous-Cell Carcinoma. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 1995; 4 (2): 85-9239519.75
34Jiang W, et al. Altered Expression of The Cyclin D1 And Retinoblastoma Genes In Human Esophageal Cancer. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America. 1993; 90 (19): 9026-903039117.77
35Isono K, et al. Results of A Nationwide study on The 3-Field Lymph-Node Dissection of Esophageal Cancer. Oncology. 1991; 48(5): 411-42038516.04
36Holmes RS, Vaughan TL.Epidemiology and pathogenesis of esophageal cancer. Seminars In Radiation Oncology. 2007; 17 (1): 2-9.38448
37Blot WJ, et al. The changing epidemiology of esophageal cancer. Seminars In Oncology. 1999;26 (5): 2-838223.88
38Ell C, et al. Curative endoscopic resection of early esophageal adenocarcinomas (Barrett's cancer). Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2007;65 (1): 3-1037747.13
39Ichihara F, et al. Increased populations of regulatory T cells in peripheral blood and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in patients with gastric and esophageal cancers. Clinical Cancer Research. 2003; 9 (12): 4404-440837431.17
40Hirota WK, et al. Specialized intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, and cancer of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction: Prevalence and clinical data. Gastroenterology. 1999; 116(2): 277-28536422.75
41Siewert JR, et al. Histologic tumor type is an independent prognostic parameter in esophageal cancer: Lessons from more than 1,000 consecutive resections at a single center in the Western world. Annals of surgery. 2001; 234(3): 360-36736325.93
42Corley DA,et al. Protective association of aspirin/NSAIDs and esophageal cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2003; 124 (1): 47-56.35929.92
43Gossner L, et al. Photodynamic ablation of high-grade dysplasia and early cancer in Barrett's esophagus by means of 5-aminolevulinic acid. Gastroenterology. 1998; 114(3): 448-45535020.59
44Peyre CG, et al. The Number of Lymph Nodes removed predicts survival in Esophageal Cancer: An International study on the impact of extent of surgical Resection. Annals of Surgery. 2008; 248 (4): 549-554.35050
45Gabitass RF, et al. Elevated myeloid-derived suppressor cells in pancreatic, esophageal and gastric cancer are an independent prognostic factor and are associated with significant elevation of the Th2 cytokine interleukin-13. Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy. 2011; 60(10): 1419-143035087.5
46Napier KJ, Scheerer M, Misra S. Esophageal cancer: A Review of epidemiology, pathogenesis, staging workup and treatment modalities. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology. 2014; 6 (5): 112-120.347347
47Farrow DC, et al. Use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of esophageal and gastric cancer. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. 1998; 7(2): 97-102.34620.35
48Shaheen N, et al. Gastroesophageal reflux, Barrett esophagus, and esophageal cancer - Scientific review. Jama-Journal of The American Medical Association. 2002; 287 (15):1972-198133625.85
49Skinner DB. Enbloc Resection For Neoplasms of The Esophagus And Cardia. Journal of Thoracic And Cardiovascular Surgery. 1983; 85 (1): 59-71.33510.47
50Li JY, et al. Nutrition Intervention Trials in Linxian, China - Multiple Vitamin Mineral Supplementation, Cancer Incidence, And Disease-Specific Mortality Among Adults with Esophageal Dysplasia. Journal of the national cancer institute.1993; 85(18):1492-1498.32914.95
TGC: Total global citations; GCS/t : Global Cited Score per year

Table 3 Frequency distribution and trend in 50 top-cited articles in EC.
PeriodNumber of articlesPercentGCS
1961 to 19906122668
1991 to 2000234613450
2001 to 201016329382
2011 to 20145103874
GCS: Global Citations Score

Top journals

The top 50 cited articles were published in 28 high ranking Journal as shown in Table 4. The 50 articles which were published in journals ranked into Quartiles- Q1, Q2, and Q3. The New England Journal of Medicine with (IF;74.699) were published six articles with total citations 8371 times, followed by Gastroenterology and Journal of Clinical Oncology (If;17.373) which published five articles. The impact factors for journals with the top 50 cited articles ranged from 2.234 to 74.699 (IF, 2020). The higher frequency citations scores of the number of articles are six articles has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Table 4 Journal in which the top 50 articles on EC were published.
Journal (n=28)RecsGCSIF (2020)Q*
New England Journal of Medicine6 (12)837174.699Q1
Gastroenterology5 (10)217717.373Q1
Journal of Clinical Oncology5 (10)350932.956Q1
Annals of Surgery3 (6)138910.13Q1
Cancer2 (4)7936.126Q1
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention2 (4)7414.344Q2
Cancer Research2 (4)10769.727Q1
Clinical Cancer Research2 (4)88210.107Q1
Jama-journal of the American Medical Association2 (4)149845.54Q1
Journal of the National Cancer Institute2 (4)76711.577Q1
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America2 (4)8169.412Q1
American Journal of Gastroenterology1 (2)49310.171Q1
American Journal of Surgery1 (2)4612.125Q2
Applied and Environmental Microbiology1 (2)4464.016Q1
Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy1 (2)3505.442Q1
Cancer letters1 (2)6327.36Q1
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy1 (2)3776.89Q1
International Journal of Cancer1 (2)4155.145Q1
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry1 (2)4364.192Q1
Journal of Nuclear Medicine1 (2)4177.887Q1
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery1 (2)3354.451Q1
Oncology Report1 (2)3853.417Q2
Phytopathology1 (2)5753.234Q1
Seminars in Oncology1 (2)3824.213Q2
Seminars in Radiation Oncology1 (2)3844.076Q2
World Journal of Gastroenterology1 (2)4773.665Q2
World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology1 (2)3472.898Q3
World Journal of Surgery1 (2)4432.234Q2
*: Journals are ranked into four Quartiles- Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 (Q1 being the highest) by Scimago.

Top institutions

The 50 articles were originated from 147 different institutions. The National Cancer Institute and the University of Washington, which is situated in the United States were the first rank institute with (6 articles), followed by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences located in China, and New York University and the University of North Carolina, each with four articles (Table 6).

Table 5 Authors with three or more top 50 cited article on EC.
  Authors (n=316)Authors Rank   
RankAuthorRecsPercentFirstSecondLastTGCSList Span
1stBlot WJ4810314951993-2003
2ndVaughan TL4812115631995-2007
3rdByhardt R3600331571992-1999
4thEll C3620112391998-2007
5thGossner L3610112391998-2007
6thHerskovic A3610231571992-1999
7thMay A3602112391998-2007
8thStolte M3601212391998-2007

Table 6 Institution of origin with three or more top-cited articles on EC.
RankInstitution (n= 147)RecsPercentTGCS
1st The National Cancer Institute6122344
2nd University of Washington6122558
3rd Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences481581
4th New York University483595
5th The University of North Carolina482200
6th Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center361223
7th International Epidemiology Institute 361166
8th Mayo Clinic's, Minnesota363025
9th University of Southern California362345
10th University of Washington363608
11th Wayne State University363157

Top countries contributed in top 50 EC articles

Most EC articles were from the USA (60%), followed by Germany (12%), Japan (10%), and China (10%) as shown in Figure 1. The collaboration of countries/regions involved in EC research is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1 Top countries contributed in the top 50 articles (n=12).

Figure 2 The collaboration of countries or regions involved in EC research.

Co-occurrence of authors keywords

Minimum one of occurrence of keywords was selected. Of the 48 keywords, 84 meet the threshold, and only 21 were shown in the figure within 5 clusters with total link strength 51 scores. Among the occur keywords esophageal cancer occurrence was five times with (TLS;20), followed by the antineoplastic agent, esophageal neoplasms/surgery, meta-analysis, prospective complications, prospective studies and randomized controlled trial with each occurs one time and with (TLS;6) for each (Table 7). The Co-occurrence of most cited keywords within the top 50 cited articles based on the total citation and h-index was reported in Figure 3.

Table 7 Co-occurrence of most cited keywords within the top 50 cited articles on EC.
Word (n= 269)h-indexPercent TCSWordh-indexPercent TCS

Co-citation analysis of cited sources

Of the 1766 cited reference, minimum of 4 cited reference was selected, which resulted in 40 meet the threshold. Those cited references were visualized into the 3 clusters with (TLS;718) (Figure 4).

Co-citation analysis

Of the total cited source, minimum of 25 references were selected which presented into the 2 clusters with TLS=13453. The journal of Gastroenterology reported with high TLS=2652, followed by cancer research with TLS=2491, American Journal of Gastroenterology with TLS= 2285, and International Journal of Cancer with TLS=2048, and new England Journal of Medicine with TLS=1736 among others (Figure 5).

Figure 3 Network visualization map of author keywords of top 50 cited articles on EC (1961-2019).

Figure 4 Network visualization map of co-cited reference on EC (1961-2019).

Figure 5 Network visualization map of co-cited sources among the top 50 cited articles on EC (1961-2019).


This is the first bibliometric analysis of the top 50 cited article in EC. Many significant findings can be drawn from this analysis of the top 50 most cited papers published on EC using bibliometric indicators on assessing characteristics and main outcome of the top-cited article in addition to the citations, publication year, country of origin, institution, journal, publication type of article and authorship.

Our findings show that article published by Van Hagen P, 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine has offer information on the prospective chemoradiotherapy improved survival among patients with potentially treatable esophageal or esophagogastric junction cancer, this article is the most cited articles and it a research hotspot among the top 50 most cited papers[15].

The majority of the 50 top-cited articles were published from 1991 to 2010, representing 39 (78%) of published 50 top-cited articles. The regional distribution of articles revealed that 13 countries were contributed in the top 50 cited articles in EC research. Most of the articles have been created in the USA, followed by Germany, Japan, and China. It was found that there is a scientific collaboration of countries/regions during the study period. The underlying reasons might be due to its higher gross national product and fund used for research in well-developed countries like the United States. Besides the top institution are located in the United States and China. The United States shows a strong collaboration between the listed institutions or countries that can promote the development and progress of research.

Our findings aim to provides quantitative information for published documents in EC and highlighted the trend distribution between the most productive authors, countries, institutions, authors, journals, co-cited sources, authors keywords that helps the medical doctor and experts understand and design future research related to EC during it first published paper up-to-date. Therefore, it is similar to previous published bibliometric studies which have been used to provide essential knowledge and annual trend of the publication as well as academic achievements in a specific research field[16-18].

The list of the most active journals and the institution was skewed towards the United States where china has less contribution in term of the top-cited article which highlighted the issue of a huge prevalence of EC disease in China, especially in the Taihang Mountain range areas in the north since 1980[19], followed by EC article which reported in 1994 in 31 corn samples collected from households in the counties of Cixian and Linxian of the People’s Republic of China, which indicates a high incidence of esophageal cancer[20], wherein year 2005 study published by Tran G, reported that EC incidence and mortality rates in Linxian, China is among the highest in the world. Moreover, the study highlighted the risk factors of EC among Chinese living in Linxian, China is due to the protective factors for ESCC included formal education of the families, water piped into the home, increased consumption of meat, eggs and fresh fruits and alcohol consumption, and increased weight and BMI. In addition to the general socioeconomic status of families are common denominator factors for EC in Linxian[21]. Among the top 50 listed article published by Li JY et al., 1993 highlighted the fact that diets high in fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of several cancers, including cancers of the esophagus and stomach[22], which further indicate that vitamin and mineral supplementation of the diet of Linxian adults, particularly with the combination of beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium, may effect a reduction in cancer risk[22].

Even though we carried out a comprehensive search on ES published documents in WOS, nevertheless our analysis it also has some limitations. We only used WOS (SCI-E and SCI) databases, not PubMed, Scopus, Medline, or Google scholar databases that can provide greater transparency with regard to coverage than WOS itself. Analyzing the top 50 documents that may lead to several high-quality articles in EC being excluded from our analysis due to it is citations reports.


The study identified the top 50 most-cited articles which includes (62% full research paper, 20% proceedings, and 18% review articles) and hosted keywords used in EC, in addition to the most productive authors (Blot WJ, and Vaughan TL), institution (National Cancer Institute and the University of Washington), and countries (United States, Germany, Japan and China) that provided a systematic overview of research and information that may offer deep insights into the study in the medical field and policymaker to prioritizing future research efforts in EC research


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