Oncotarget

Clinical Research Papers:

Increased number of negative lymph nodes is associated with improved cancer specific survival in pathological IIIB and IIIC rectal cancer treated with preoperative radiotherapy

Qingguo Li _, Changhua Zhuo, Guoxiang Cai, Dawei Li, Lei Liang and Sanjun Cai

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:12459-12471. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2560

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Abstract

Qingguo Li1,2, Changhua Zhuo1,2,3, Guoxiang Cai1,2, Dawei Li1,2, Lei Liang1,2, Sanjun Cai1,2

1Department of Colorectal Surgery, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

2Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

3Department of Surgical Oncology, Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Teaching Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, People's Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Sanjun Cai, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Rectal cancer, negative lymph nodes, prognosis, SEER

Received: June 12, 2014     Accepted: September 29, 2014     Published: October 20, 2014

ABSTRACT

Preoperative radiation significantly decreases the number of retrieved lymph nodes (LNs) in rectal cancer, but little is known with respect to the prognostic significance of negative LN (NLN) counts under these circumstances. In this study, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)-registered ypIII stage rectal cancer patients, and patients from Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center (FDSCC) were combined and analyzed. The results showed that the survival rate of patients with n (cutoff) or more NLNs increased gradually when n ranged from two to nine. After n reached 10 or greater, survival rates were approximately equivalent. Furthermore, the optimal cutoff value of 10 was validated as an independent prognostic factor in stage ypIIIB and ypIIIC patients by both univariate and multivariate analysis (P < 0.001); the number of NLNs could also stratify the prognosis of ypN(+) patients in more detail. Patients in the FDSCC set validated these findings and confirmed that NLN count was not decreased in the good tumor regression group relative to the poor tumor regression group. These results suggest that NLN count is an independent prognostic factor for ypIIIB and ypIIIC rectal cancer patients, and, together with the number of positive LNs, this will provide better prognostic information than the number of positive LNs alone.


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