Prognostic value of lymph node metastases and lymph node ratio in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
AIMS: Although the positive lymph node (LN) metastasis in patients with thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma carcinoma (SCC) has been reported to be a risk factor to reduce long-term survival, only a few studies have so far evaluated the lymph node metastasis among this group of patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of lymph node positivity and ratio on survival of esophageal SCC. METHODS: All patients undergoing esophagectomy at the Forth Hospital of Hebei Medical University between January 1986 and December 2002 were reviewed. Survival curves were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS: Of 1,325 patients with invasive cancer, had squamous cell cancer of the esophagus. Median overall survival (OS) of the entire group was 36.7 months and 5-year OS was 39.3%. The most significant prognostic factor for overall survival was the presence of positive LN (P<0.01). Additionally, patients with zero involved LN had a 5-year survival of 49.1%, while patients with 1-3 positive LN and >3 positive LN had 5-year survival of 19.5% and 11.0%, respectively (P<0.01). Finally, an increasing ratio of positive to examined LN was linearly associated with a worsening 5-year survival, patients with <25%, 25%-50% and >50% positive LN had 5-year survival of 47.53%, 14.6% and 8.9%, respectively (P<0.01). CONCLUSION: Increasing number of positive LN in patients with esophageal cancer and increasing ratio of metastatic to examine LN portend a poor prognosis. These factors should play an important role in predicting prognosis of patients.
Liu, YP; Ma, L; Wang, SJ; Chen, YN; Wu, GX; Han, M; Wang, XL
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