Research Papers:

The prognostic value of lymph nodes count on survival of patients with node-negative gastric cancer

Wei-feng Zheng, Ting-ting Ji, Yong Lin and Rong-zhou Li _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:43680-43688. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9845

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Wei-feng Zheng1, Ting-ting Ji1, Yong Lin1, Rong-zhou Li1

1Department of Gastroenterology, Rui’an People’s Hospital, Third Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325200, Zhejiang Province, China

Correspondence to:

Rong-zhou Li, email: drlirz@sina.com

Keywords: gastric cancer, lymph node count, survival analysis, SEER

Received: March 17, 2016     Accepted: May 20, 2016     Published: June 06, 2016


The retrieved lymph node (LN) count has been validated as a prognostic factor in various cancers. However, the interaction between LN counts and patients’ prognosis in gastric cancer with negative-LN metastasis is not fully studied. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)-registered gastric cancer patients were used for analysis in this study. Patients operated on for gastric cancer at N0 stage between 2004 and 2012 were identified from the SEER database. The association between the LN counts and survival was assessed using the Cox proportional hazards model. Patients were stratified into 1−4, 5−13, and > 13 subgroups according to LN count cut-off values determined by X-tile program, with the 5-year cause specific survival (CSS) rate of 64.8%, 72.5%, and 79.4%, respectively. LN count was also validated as an independently prognostic factor in multivariate Cox analysis (P < 0.001). In addition, nomograms including LN counts on CSS were established according to all significant factors, and the c-index was 0.703 (95% CI: 0.672−0.734). Further study indicated that patients with no LN metastasis had a decreased risk of death for each patient with LN examined up to approximately 14 LNs. Collectively, our study firmly demonstrated that the number of the retrieved LNs count was an independent prognostic factor for gastric cancer with no LN metastasis. The higher the LN count, the better the survival would be; the best CSS was observed on the LN count more than 14.

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