Does the Margin Matter in Esophageal Cancer


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Abstract

Background: The prognostic impact of circumferential resection margin (CRM) involvement in resected esophageal cancer (EC) is controversial discussed. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the Royal College of Pathologists (RCP) provide 2 different definitions of CRM involvement. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the clinical significance of CRM involvement on patients' survival following esophagectomy due to EC. Methods: PubMed, Science Direct, and Google scholar were searched for studies analyzing the clinical impact of CRM in EC. Summary: A total of 28 studies analyzed the prognostic effect of a positive CRM in EC. A wide range of CRM involvement (8.6-83.1%) was reported. Both available meta-analyses found a significant association between a positive CRM and patients' survival irrespective of RCP (OR 2.52 [95% CI 1.96-3.25; p < 0.001]) or CAP (OR 4.02 [95% CI 2.25-7.20; p < 0.001]) criteria. The influence of neoadjuvant therapy on the CRM remains unclear. Key Messages: CRM involvement is a useful parameter for EC patients' prognosis. The application of CAP criteria should be preferred since patients with a poor prognosis can be identified more sufficiently. Neoadjuvant therapy and en bloc transthoracic esophagectomy show favorable results for achievement of negative CRM.

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