Do tumor location and grade affect survival in pT2N0M0 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma?

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The TNM staging system for esophageal cancer in the seventh edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual incorporates tumor grade and location for staging pT2-3N0M0 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Patients with pT2N0M0, classified as stage IIA according to the sixth edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, can now be classified as stage IB, IIA, or IIB. We discuss whether these changes lead to a better prediction of the prognosis of these patients and aimed to find out other factors to forecast patient prognosis.


We retrospectively analyzed 317 patients with postoperative pathologic stage T2N0M0 who underwent esophagectomy between 1990 and 2005 at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses to identify prognostic factors for survival and used the Kaplan–Meier method to demonstrate the prognostic efficacy of each prognostic factor, including tumor grade and location.


The 5-year overall survival was 57%, with a median survival of 84.5 months (6.94 years). Univariate analysis indicated that age, alcohol consumption, and tumor grade were associated with survival. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis revealed that alcohol consumption and tumor grade were independent prognostic factors. Survival analysis using the Kaplan–Meier method demonstrated age, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, tumor grade, and location as prognostic factors.


For pT2N0M0 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, the seventh edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual does not provide a more distinguishable prediction of prognosis compared with the sixth edition. Tumor grade is an independent prognostic factor in patients with pT2N0M0 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, whereas tumor location is not. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is an independent prognostic factor that may imply a worse prognosis.

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