Metastatic lymph node ratio demonstrates better prognostic stratification than pN staging in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma after esophagectomy.Sci Rep. 2016 12 12; 6:38804.SR
This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic significance of lymph node ratio (LNR) by establishing a hypothetical tumor-ratio-metastasis (TRM) staging system in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The records of 387 ESCC patients receiving curative esophagectomy were retrospectively investigated. The optimal cut-point for LNR was assessed via the best cut-off approach. Potential prognostic parameters were identified through univariate and multivariate analyses. A novel LNR-based TRM stage was proposed. The prognostic discriminatory ability and prediction accuracy of each system were determined using hazard ratio (HR), Akaike information criterion (AIC), concordance index (C-index), and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). The optimal cut-points of LNR were set at 0, 0~0.2, 0.2~0.4, and 0.4~1.0. Multivariate Cox analysis indicated that the LNR category was an independent risk factor of overall survival (P < 0.001). The calibration curves for the probability of 3- and 5-year survival showed good consistency between nomogram prediction and actual observation. The LNR category and TRM stage yielded a larger HR, a smaller AIC, a larger C-index, and a larger AUC than the N category and TNM stage did. In summary, the proposed LNR category was superior to the conventional N category in predicting the prognosis of ESCC patients.