Background Multimodal therapy with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, followed by esophagectomy has offered better survival results, compared to isolated esophagectomy, in advanced esophageal cancer. In addition, patients who have a complete pathological response to neoadjuvant treatment presented greater overall survival and longer disease-free survival compared to those with incomplete response. Aim: To compare the results of overall survival and disease-free survival among patients with complete and incomplete response, submitted to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy, with two therapeutic regimens, followed by transhiatal esophagectomy. Methods: Retrospective study, approved by the Research Ethics Committee, analyzing the medical records of 56 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, divided into two groups, submitted to radiotherapy (5040 cGY) and chemotherapy (5-Fluorouracil + Cisplatin versus Paclitaxel + Carboplatin) neoadjuvants and subsequently to surgical treatment, in the period from 2005 to 2012, patients. Results The groups did not differ significantly in terms of gender, race, age, postoperative complications, disease-free survival and overall survival. The 5-year survival rate of patients with incomplete and complete response was 18.92% and 42.10%, respectively (p> 0.05). However, patients who received Paclitaxel + Carboplatin, had better complete pathological responses to neoadjuvant, compared to 5-Fluorouracil + Cisplatin (47.37% versus 21.62% - p = 0.0473, p <0.05). Conclusions There was no statistical difference in overall survival and disease-free survival for patients who had a complete pathological response to neoadjuvant. Patients submitted to the therapeutic regimen with Paclitaxel and Carboplastin, showed a significant difference with better complete pathological response and disease progression. New parameters are indicated to clarify the real value in survival, from the complete pathological response to neoadjuvant, in esophageal cancer.