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Int Surg. 2014 Jul-Aug;99(4):344-53. doi: 10.9738/INTSURG-D-13-00052.1.

A lymph node ratio of 10% is predictive of survival in stage III colon cancer: a French regional study.

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1 Department of Digestive Surgery, Amiens University Hospital, Amiens, France.


Lymph node ratio (LNR) (positive lymph nodes/sampled lymph nodes) is predictive of survival in colon cancer. The aim of the present study was to validate the LNR as a prognostic factor and to determine the optimum LNR cutoff for distinguishing between "good prognosis" and "poor prognosis" colon cancer patients. From January 2003 to December 2007, patients with TNM stage III colon cancer operated on with at least of 3 years of follow-up and not lost to follow-up were included in this retrospective study. The two primary endpoints were 3-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) as a function of the LNR groups and the cutoff. One hundred seventy-eight patients were included. There was no correlation between the LNR group and 3-year OS (P=0.06) and a significant correlation between the LNR group and 3-year DFS (P=0.03). The optimal LNR cutoff of 10% was significantly correlated with 3-year OS (P=0.02) and DFS (P=0.02). The LNR was not an accurate prognostic factor when fewer than 12 lymph nodes were sampled. Clarification and simplification of the LNR classification are prerequisites for use of this system in randomized control trials. An LNR of 10% appears to be the optimal cutoff.


Colon cancer; Lymph node ratio; Surgery; Survival

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