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Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 12;8(51):89245-89255. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.19184. eCollection 2017 Oct 24.

Lymph node ratio, but not the total number of examined lymph nodes or lymph node metastasis, is a predictor of overall survival for pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms after surgical resection.

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Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, 116011, China.
Institute of Experimental Surgery, University of Rostock, Schillingallee 69a, Rostock, 18059, Germany.
Department of Epidemiology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, 116044, China.
Department of Oncology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors and Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, Wuhan, 430071, China.
Department of General Surgery, Xinhua Hospital Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, 200092, China.
Dalian Key Laboratory of Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Diseases Prevention and Treatment and Liaoning Key Laboratory of Molecular Targeted Drugs in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Cancer, Dalian, 116011, China.



To evaluate the prognostic significance of lymph node metastasis, extent of examined lymph nodes (ELNs) and lymph node ratio (LNR) for resected pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNENs).

Materials and Methods:

Surgically resected pNENs were assimilated from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard models were used to examine the prognostic effect of clinicopathological characteristics on overall survival; Harrell's concordance index was performed to assess the prognostic accuracy of all independent prognostic factors; and the Spearman's rank correlation was used to assess the correlation between LNR and other clinicopathological characteristics.


Totally, 1,273 pathologically confirmed pNENs were included in our study. The extent of ELNs failed to show any survival benefit in entire cohort (ELNs ≤ 12 vs. ELNs > 12, P = 0.072) or pNENs without lymph node metastasis (ELNs ≤ 28 vs. ELNs > 28, P = 0.108). Lymph node metastasis and LNR > 0.40 were significantly (both P < 0.001) adverse prognostic factors of overall survival. However, only LNR > 0.40 was the independent predictor of survival after adjusted for other clinicopathological characteristics. Besides LNR, the age, gender, primary tumor site, grade and stage also were the independent predictors of overall survival; and this survival model had an acceptable predictive power (Harrell's concordance index, 0.731).


The current study suggested that the LNR, not the total number of ELNs and the lymph node metastasis, is an independent prognostic indicator of overall survival for pNENs after surgical resection.


examined lymph nodes; lymph node metastasis; lymph node ratio; overall survival; pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST All authors declare that no conflicts of interest exits in the submission of this manuscript.

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