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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2004 Jun;34(6):323-8.

Identification of patients with high-risk lymph node-negative colorectal cancer and potential benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.

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Gastroenterology Department, Surgery Division, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, México DF, México.



Adjuvant chemotherapy is not indicated in lymph node-negative colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRC), even though some cases will present recurrent disease. It is important to identify a subgroup of patients with the highest risk of relapse because of the potential benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy. The objective of this study is to define the prognostic factors and describe a method for the selection of this subgroup.


A retrospective cohort of 124 patients with lymph node-negative CRC with complete surgical resection was studied. Cox's proportional hazards model was used to define the prognostic factors associated with CRC-related survival and to develop a method for prediction of recurrence probability.


The cohort included 62 women and 62 men with mean age 55.8 years. The mean follow-up period was 11.7 years. T classification of the primary tumor, differentiation grade, carcinoembryonic antigen level, gender and the presence of neural invasion were significant prognostic factors according to the multivariate analysis (final model P=0.00001). Using risk ratios for these prognostic factors, we defined a high-risk group of 78 patients and a low-risk group of 46 patients with 24 and 5 recurrences, respectively (recurrence rates of 30.8% and 10.9% respectively, P=0.011).


Using these factors, a prognostic scale was developed to predict high risk of recurrence in cases of completely resected CRC and to identify them as a subgroup of patients with potential benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy.

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