Prognostic Impact of Perineural Invasion in Rectal Cancer After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy
Perineural invasion (PNI) has emerged as an important factor related to colorectal cancer spread; however, the impact of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) on PNI remains unclear. Herein, we investigated the prognostic value of PNI, along with lymphovascular invasion (LVI), in rectal cancer patients treated with nCRT.
This single-center observational study of pathologic variables, including PNI and LVI, analyzed 1411 invasive rectal cancer patients (965 and 446 patients treated with primary resection and nCRT, respectively).
The overall detection rates of LVI and PNI were 16.7 and 28.8%, respectively. The incidence of LVI was significantly lower in patients treated with nCRT (8.1 vs. 20.6%, P < .001); this was confirmed by multivariate analysis. However, PNI was not affected by nCRT (with nCRT 28.3% vs. without nCRT 29.1%, P = .786). In the 446 patients with nCRT, multivariate analysis revealed that PNI was an independent prognostic factor for both disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). For the prediction of both 5-year DFS and OS, the C-index for the combinations of T-stage with the PNI (TPNI) system showed favorable result, especially in patients with a total number of harvested lymph nodes <8.
PNI is a meaningful prognostic factor for rectal cancer patients treated with nCRT, especially when <8 lymph nodes are harvested. The lack of influence of nCRT on the PNI incidence suggests that residual tumor cells with PNI are more radioresistant or biologically aggressive than those without.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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