Apical Lymph Nodes in the Distant Metastases and Prognosis of Patients with Stage III Colorectal Cancer with Adequate Lymph Node Retrieval Following FOLFOX Adjuvant Chemotherapy.Pathol Oncol Res. 2019 Jul; 25(3):905-913.PO
The aim of the study was to assess apical lymph nodes (APNs) for predicting distant metastases in patients with stage III colorectal cancer (CRC) curatively treated with FOLFOX adjuvant chemotherapy and adequate lymph node retrieval. We investigated the correlation between APN metastasis and clinical outcomes. This retrospective study examined 97 patients. All patients were followed until death, loss to follow-up, or May 2017. Clinicopathological variables, including the APN status, were assessed. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to identify the independent risk factors for APN and distant metastases, and Cox proportional regression model was used to evaluate the association between APN metastasis and oncologic outcomes. Multivariate analyses revealed the N2 stage as an independent predictor of APN metastasis [P = 0.036; odds ratio (OR): 3.016; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.076-8.499], while APN metastasis was an independent risk factor for distant metastases (P < 0.001; OR: 13.876; 95% CI: 3.815-50.475). Furthermore, APN metastasis was an independent risk factor for poorer disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) (P < 0.001 and P = 0.005, respectively). The liver (31.6%) was the most common site of distant metastases in patients with APN metastases. APN metastasis is an important prognostic factor for node-positive CRC; it enhanced the distant metastases in patients with stage III CRC curatively treated with adequate lymph node retrieval following FOLFOX adjuvant chemotherapy. Therefore, for patients with stage III CRC involving APN metastasis, prospectively randomized trials are mandatory to investigate different therapeutic strategies in addition to conventional FOLFOX adjuvant chemotherapy.