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Cancer Commun (Lond). 2019 Sep 13;39(1):49. doi: 10.1186/s40880-019-0394-4.

Retrieved lymph nodes from different anatomic groups in gastric cancer: a proposed optimal number, comparison with other nodal classification strategies and its impact on prognosis.

Author information

1
Department of Surgical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, North Nanjing Street 155, Shenyang, 110001, Liaoning, P. R. China.
2
Department of Surgical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, North Nanjing Street 155, Shenyang, 110001, Liaoning, P. R. China. xuhuimian@126.com.
3
Department of Surgical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, North Nanjing Street 155, Shenyang, 110001, Liaoning, P. R. China. zhuzhi@cmu.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The optimal number of retrieved lymph nodes (LNs) in gastric cancer (GC) is still debatable and previous studies proposing new classification alternatives mostly focused on the number of retrieved LNs without proper consideration on the anatomic nodal groups' location. Here, we assessed the impact of retrieved LNs from different nodal location groups on the survival of GC patients.

METHODS:

Stage I-III gastric cancer patients who had radical gastrectomy were investigated. LN grouping was determined according to the 13th edition of the JCGC. The optimal cut-off values of retrieved LNs in different LN groups (Group 1 and 2) were calculated, based on which a proposed nodal classification (rN) simultaneously accounting the optimal number and location of retrieved LNs was proposed. The performance of rN was then compared to that of LN ratio, log-odds of metastatic LNs (LODDs) and the 8th edition of the Union for International Cancer Control/American Joint Committee on Cancer (UICC/AJCC) N classification.

RESULTS:

The optimal cut-off values for Group 1 and 2 were 13 and 9, respectively. The 5-year overall survival (OS) was higher for patients in retrieved Group 1 LNs > 13 (vs. Group 1 LNs ≤ 13, 63.2% vs. 57.9%, P = 0.005) and retrieved Group 2 LNs > 9 (vs. Group 2 LNs ≤ 9, 72.5% vs. 60.7%, P = 0.009). Patients staged as pN0-3b were sub classified using this Group 1 and 2 nodal analogy. The OS of pN0-N2 patients in retrieved Group 1 LNs > 13 or Group 2 LNs > 9 were superior to those in retrieved Group 1 LNs ≤ 13 and Group 2 LNs ≤ 9 (All P < 0.05); except for pN3 patients. The rN classification was formulated and demonstrated better 5-year OS prognostication performance as compared to the LNR, LODDs, and the 8th UICC/AJCC N staging system.

CONCLUSIONS:

The retrieval of > 13 and > 9 LNs for Group 1 and Group 2, respectively, could represent an alternative lymph node retrieval approach in radical gastrectomy for more precise survival prognostication and minimizing staging migration, especially if > 16 LNs is found to be difficult.

KEYWORDS:

Akaike information criterion; American Joint Committee on Cancer; Bayesian information criterion; Gastric cancer; Japanese Gastric Cancer Association; Log odds of metastatic lymph nodes; Lymph node; Lymph node ratio; Migration; Prognosis; Stage

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