Using the National Cancer Database to create a scoring system that identifies patients with early-stage esophageal cancer at risk for nodal metastases

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Abstract

Objectives:

Endoscopic resection is gaining popularity as a treatment for early-stage esophageal adenocarcinoma, particularly for T1a tumors. The goal of this study was to create a scoring system to reflect the risk of nodal metastases in early-stage esophageal adenocarcinoma to be used after endoscopic resection to better individualize treatment.

Methods:

The National Cancer Database was queried for patients with T1a or T1b esophageal adenocarcinoma who underwent esophagectomy. We identified variables affecting nodal metastases using multivariable logistic regression, which we then used to create a scoring system. We stratified the model for T1a or T1b tumors, tested model discrimination, and validated the models by refitting in 1000 bootstrap samples. C-statistics greater than 0.7 were considered relevant.

Results:

We identified 1283 patients with T1a or T1b tumors; 146 had nodal metastases (11.4%). Tumor category (pT1a vs pT1b), grade, and size and the presence of angiolymphatic invasion significantly affected the risk of nodal metastases. We assigned points to each variable and added them to get a risk score. In patients with T1a tumors, less than 3% of patients with a risk score of 3 or less had nodal metastases, whereas 16.1% of patients with a risk score of 5 or greater had nodal metastases. In patients with T1b tumors, less than 5% of patients with a risk score of 2 or less had nodal metastases, whereas 41% of patients with a score of 6 or greater had nodal metastases (c-statistic = 0.805).

Conclusions:

The proposed scoring system seems to be useful in discriminating risk of nodal metastases in patients with T1a or T1b esophageal adenocarcinoma and may be useful in directing patients who received endoscopic resection to esophagectomy or careful follow-up.

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