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Mod Pathol. 2006 Mar;19(3):475-80.

Histopathological criteria for additional treatment after endoscopic mucosal resection for esophageal cancer: analysis of 464 surgically resected cases.

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Clinical Laboratory Division, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


No previous reports on lymph-node metastasis (LNM) from superficial squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus have proposed definite criteria for additional treatment after endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR). We investigated the association between histopathological factors and LNM in 464 consecutive patients with superficial squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus who had undergone a radical esophagectomy with lymph-node dissection (14 'M1' lesions: intraepithelial tumors, 36 'M2' lesions: tumors invading the lamina propria, 50 'M3' lesions: tumors in contact with or invading the muscularis mucosa, 32 'SM1' lesions: tumors invading the most superficial 1/3 of the submucosa and 332 'SM2/3' lesions: tumors invading deeper than SM1 level). Histopathological factors including invasion depth, size, lymphatic invasion (LY), venous invasion, tumor differentiation, growth pattern, degree of nuclear atypia and histological grade were assessed for their association with LNM in 82 M3 or SM1 lesions to determine which patients need additional treatment after EMR. LNM was found in 0.0, 5.6, 18.0, 53.1 and 53.9% of the M1, M2, M3, SM1 and SM2/3 lesions, respectively. A univariate analysis showed that each of the following histopathological factors had a significant influence on LNM: invasion depth (M3 vs SM1), LY, venous invasion and histological grade. Invasion depth and LY were significantly associated with LNM in a multivariate analysis. Four out of 38 patients (10.3%) with M3 lesions without LY had LNM, whereas five out of 12 patients (41.7%) with M3 lesions and LY had LNM. Only patients with M1/2 lesions are good candidates for EMR. Invading the muscularis mucosa (M3) is a high-risk condition for LNM the same as submucosal invasion, but M3 lesions without LY can be followed up after EMR without any additional treatment.

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