The aim of this study was to determine the impact of lymph node (LN) metastasis conditions on the prognosis of patients with esophageal squamous carcinoma and the minimum number of LNs that should be removed to maximize overall postoperative survival among patients with this specific pathologic subtype.
In this study, 312 patients with thoracic squamous esophageal carcinoma who received in-patient thoracic surgery by the same surgeon in our hospital from August 1, 2003 to December 31, 2009 were recruited. Subsequently, Kaplan-Meier methods were used to determine associations between LN metastasis conditions and mortality and between the numbers of LNs removed during esophagectomy and mortality. Cox regression models were used to adjust for potential confounding covariates.
According to Kaplan-Meier analyses, the number of metastatic LNs was a good predictor for the prognosis of patients with esophageal squamous carcinoma and the dissection of ≥29 LNs during thoracic surgery significantly improved patient survival (P = 0.011).
Lymph node metastasis rates may be a significant predictor for the prognosis of patients with esophageal squamous carcinoma. The number of LNs removed during esophagectomy is an independent predictor for the survival of patients with esophageal squamous carcinoma with maximal postoperative survival after the removal of ≥29 LNs.