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01.03.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2012

International Journal of Colorectal Disease 3/2012

Dukes C colorectal cancer: is the metastatic lymph node ratio important?

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Colorectal Disease > Ausgabe 3/2012
Autoren:
Matthew Thomas, Somita Biswas, Faheez Mohamed, Kandiah Chandrakumaran, Madan Jha, Robert Wilson

Abstract

Purpose

Although the regional lymph node status is essential for staging of colorectal cancer, the importance of the total number of collected nodes remains controversial. Our aim was to examine the impact of the metastatic lymph node ratio (LNR) on the survival of patients with Dukes C colorectal cancer.

Methods

All patients with Dukes C histology were selected from a prospectively collected database of all colorectal cancers resected between 1997 and 2007 at our institution. Demographic, histopathological and adjuvant treatment data were collected. The total number of positive lymph nodes was divided by the total number of lymph nodes examined to calculate the LNR. Patients were categorised into LNR groups 1 to 5 according to cut-off points: ≤0.1, 0.21, 0.36, 0.6 and ≥0.61. Survival from the date of operation was calculated using Kaplan–Meier estimates. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify those factors influencing survival.

Results

Of 1,098 patients who underwent colorectal cancer resections, 41% were staged as Dukes C. Sixty-four percent of patients received chemotherapy. The median number of lymph nodes harvested and positive for tumour were 11 (range 1–52) and 4 (range 1–28), respectively. In patients who received chemotherapy, 5-year survival was 69.3% for LNR 1 and 23.6% for LNR 5. When no chemotherapy was given, the 5-year survival was 43.1% for LNR 1 and 8.7% for LNR 5.

Conclusions

Current evaluation of positive lymph nodes may not accurately stage Dukes C colorectal cancer. The assessment of the LNR is a useful prognostic method in this heterogenous group of patients.

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