Adjuvant Radiotherapy After Modified Ivor-Lewis Esophagectomy: Can It Prevent Lymph Node Recurrence of the Mid-Thoracic Esophageal Carcinoma?

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Even if complete resection was performed, some patients with esophageal carcinoma still develop tumor recurrence. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of adjuvant radiotherapy after modified Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy on preventing lymph node recurrence of the mid-thoracic esophageal carcinoma.


Three hundred sixty-six patients with mid-thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma who underwent modified Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy between June 1999 and June 2004 were retrospectively reviewed. All patients were followed up within 3 years after surgery to detect lymph node recurrence. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate the recurrence rate, and Cox regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors of lymph node recurrence.


The overall 3-year and 5-year survival rates in all patients were 57.9% and 43.7%, respectively. Lymph node recurrence occurred in 105 patients (28.7%) within 3 years after surgery. The lymph node recurrence rate of patients with postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy was significantly lower than that of those with adjuvant chemotherapy (p= 0.03) and those without adjuvant therapy (p< 0.01). Cox regression analysis showed that T stage, N status, and postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy were independent relevant factors for lymph node recurrence.


Postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy after modified Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy might prevent lymph node recurrence of mid-thoracic esophageal carcinoma.

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