The influence of total nodes examined, number of positive nodes, and lymph node ratio on survival after surgical resection and adjuvant chemoradiation for pancreatic cancer: a secondary analysis of RTOG 9704.
PURPOSE: Lymph node status is an important predictor of survival in pancreatic cancer. We performed a secondary analysis of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 9704, an adjuvant chemotherapy and chemoradiation trial, to determine the influence of lymph node factors--number of positive nodes (NPN), total nodes examined (TNE), and lymph node ratio (LNR ratio of NPN to TNE)--on OS and disease-free survival (DFS). PATIENT AND METHODS: Eligible patients from RTOG 9704 form the basis of this secondary analysis of lymph node parameters. Actuarial estimates for OS and DFS were calculated using Kaplan-Meier methods. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to evaluate associations of NPN, TNE, and LNR with OS and DFS. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were also performed. RESULTS: There were 538 patients enrolled in the RTOG 9704 trial. Of these, 445 patients were eligible with lymph nodes removed. Overall median NPN was 1 (min-max, 0-18). Increased NPN was associated with worse OS (HR=1.06, p=0.001) and DFS (HR=1.05, p=0.01). In multivariate analyses, both NPN and TNE were associated with OS and DFS. TNE>12, and >15 were associated with increased OS for all patients, but not for node-negative patients (n=142). Increased LNR was associated with worse OS (HR=1.01, p<0.0001) and DFS (HR=1.006, p=0.002). CONCLUSION: In patients who undergo surgical resection followed by adjuvant chemoradiation, TNE, NPN, and LNR are associated with OS and DFS. This secondary analysis of a prospective, cooperative group trial supports the influence of these lymph node parameters on outcomes after surgery and adjuvant therapy using contemporary techniques.
Showalter, TN; Winter, KA; Berger, AC; Regine, WF; Abrams, RA; Safran, H; Hoffman, JP; Benson, AB; MacDonald, JS; Willett, CG
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