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Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Jul;19(7):2169-77. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2223-8.

The relationship of lymph node evaluation and colorectal cancer survival after curative resection: a multi-institutional study.

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Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Aichi Cancer Center, Nagoya, Japan.



Esophagectomy remains the mainstay treatment for clinical T1bN0M0 esophageal cancer because pathologic lymph node metastases in these patients are not negligible. Recently, chemoradiotherapy (CRT), which can preserve the esophagus, has been reported to be a promising therapeutic alternative to esophagectomy. However, to our knowledge, no comparative studies of esophagectomy and CRT have been reported in clinical T1bN0M0 esophageal cancer.


A total of 173 patients with clinical T1bN0M0 squamous cell carcinoma of the thoracic esophagus were enrolled in this study, 102 of whom were treated with radical esophagectomy (S group) and 71 with definitive CRT (CRT group). Treatment results of both groups were retrospectively compared.


No statistically significant difference was found in overall survival, but the S group displayed significantly better progression-free survival than the CRT group. Disease recurrence was observed in 12 S group patients and 20 CRT group patients. The incidence of distant recurrence was similar, while local recurrence and lymph node recurrence were significantly more frequent in the CRT group. In the S group, 20 patients had pathologic lymph node metastasis. The progression-free survival of patients with pathologic lymph node metastasis did not differ from those without nodal metastasis. In the CRT group, local recurrence could be controlled by salvage esophagectomy, but treatment results of lymph node recurrence were poor; only 4 of 12 patients with lymph node recurrences were cured.


Selection of patients at high risk of pathologic lymph node metastasis is essential when formulating treatment decisions for clinical T1bN0M0 esophageal cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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