Survival Paradox Between Stage IIB/C (T4N0) and Stage IIIA (T1-2N1) Colon Cancer
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The survival paradox between stage IIB/C (T4N0) and stage IIIA (T1-2N1) colon cancer remains in the 7th edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system. This multicenter study aimed to compare the oncologic outcomes of T4N0 and T1-2N1 colon cancers and to investigate the presumptive prognostic factors that might influence the survival paradox.
Patients who underwent curative surgery for pT4N0 (n = 224) and pT1-2N1 (n = 135) primary colon cancer between January 1999 and December 2010 at five tertiary referral cancer centers were included for analysis. The clinicopathologic, treatment-related factors, and oncologic outcomes in terms of the 5-year overall survival (5-OS) and 5-year disease-free survival (5-DFS) were compared.
The T4N0 group had significantly worse 5-OS and 5-DFS rates than the T1-2N1 group (5-OS: 84.0 vs. 92.3 %, p = 0.012; 5-DFS: 73.6 vs. 88.0 %, p = 0.001). T4N0 cancers more frequently showed elevated preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen, lower grade of differentiation, larger tumor size, and higher proportions of perineural invasion, microsatellite instability, obstruction, and perforation than T1-2N1 cancers. Peritoneal seeding and liver metastasis were the predominant recurrence pattern in the T4N0 and T1-2N1 groups, respectively (p = 0.042). The T4N0 group showed inferior survival to the T1-2N1 group in postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy (5-OS: 87.1 vs. 93.2 %, p = 0.045; 5-DFS: 76.1 vs. 89.0 %, p = 0.001).
T4N0 colon cancer had significantly worse oncologic outcomes than T1-2N1 cancer regardless of adjuvant chemotherapy. The survival paradox may result from the biologic aggressiveness of T4N0 colon carcinomas.
KeywordsAdjuvant Chemotherapy Oncologic Outcome T4N0 Tumor Colon Carcinoma Patient Tertiary Referral Cancer Center
Conflict of interest
The authors declare there are no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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