Oncological Outcomes of Lateral Pelvic Lymph Node Metastasis in Rectal Cancer Treated With Preoperative Chemoradiotherapy

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oncological outcomes of lateral pelvic lymph node metastasis in rectal cancer treated with preoperative chemoradiotherapy remain to be elucidated.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to clarify the therapeutic effect of chemoradiotherapy on lateral pelvic lymph node metastasis, the risk factors of lateral pelvic lymph node metastasis, and oncological outcomes of lateral pelvic lymph node dissection after chemoradiotherapy.

DESIGN:

This was a nonrandomized, retrospective study.

SETTINGS:

The study was conducted at a tertiary referral university hospital.

PATIENTS:

Patients with rectal cancer treated with chemoradiotherapy and radical surgery from 2003 to 2015 (N = 222) were included.

INTERVENTIONS:

Radiation (total, 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions) with concomitant fluorouracil-based chemotherapy was administered. Lateral pelvic lymph nodes with a diameter of ≥8 mm before chemoradiotherapy were selectively dissected.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Frequency and risk factors of lateral pelvic lymph node metastasis were examined.

RESULTS:

Lateral pelvic lymph node dissection was performed in 31 patients (14.0%), and 16 (51.6%) of these patients were pathologically diagnosed as positive for metastasis. Among the patients treated with total mesorectal excision alone (n = 191), 2 (0.9%) had recurrence in the lateral pelvic lymph node area, which was pathologically confirmed after salvage R0 resection. T category downstaging (73.3% vs 12.5%; p < 0.01) and high histological regression of the primary lesion (73.3% vs 18.8%; p < 0.01) were more frequent in patients with pathologically negative lateral pelvic lymph nodes than in those with positive lateral pelvic lymph nodes. Young age, short distance from the anal verge, and enlarged lateral pelvic lymph node before chemoradiotherapy were associated with lateral pelvic lymph node metastasis.

LIMITATIONS:

The study was limited by its retrospective nature and small study population.

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence of lateral pelvic lymph node metastasis after chemoradiotherapy was estimated to be 8.1% (18/222). Young age, short distance from the anal verge, and enlarged lateral pelvic lymph node before chemoradiotherapy were risk factors of lateral pelvic lymph node metastasis after chemoradiotherapy.

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