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Prognostic Significance of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET)-Positive Lymph Nodes Following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Surgery for Resectable Thoracic Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma



Prognostic Significance of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET)-Positive Lymph Nodes Following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Surgery for Resectable Thoracic Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma



Annals of Surgical Oncology 22(8): 2599-2607



Patients with resectable thoracic esophageal squamous cell cancer (TESCC) and positron emission tomography (PET)-positive lymph nodes (PET-N positive) are likely to have ≥3 pathological lymph node metastases (pLNMs) and show a higher rate of postoperative recurrence despite curative resection than PET-N-negative TESCC patients. We examined the prognostic significance of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake into lymph node metastases after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for PET-N positive TESCC and aimed to propose the optimal NAC response criteria for these patients. Fifty-one patients with PET-N positive TESCC underwent two courses of NAC followed by surgery. Metabolic responses of primary tumors and LNs were prospectively evaluated and associations with clinicopathological data and patient survival assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses. After NAC, 21 patients were post-treatment (post-) PET-N positive and 30 post-PET-N negative. A significantly (p < 0.001) high proportion of the post-PET-N-negative group had ≤2 pLNMs than the post-PET-N positive group (86.7 vs. 28.6 %). The PET-N negative group also had a significantly lower distant metastasis rate (23.3 vs. 75.0 %) and higher 5-year relapse-free survival (RFS) rate (69.0 vs. 20.0 %). Univariate and multivariate Cox's proportional hazard regression analyses identified post-PET-N negative status as the only significant favorable predictive factor for low postoperative recurrence (p = 0.015) independent of the primary tumor response. PET-N negative status predicts ≤2 pLNMs and longer RFS in resectable TESCC patients even after NAC. Therefore, post-PET-N status, not the effects on the primary tumor, is a critical NAC treatment response criterion for evaluating prognosis and guiding subsequent treatment.

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Accession: 058635188

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PMID: 25524011

DOI: 10.1245/s10434-014-4299-9


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