Clinical Significance of 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose-Positron Emission Tomography-Positive Lymph Nodes to Outcomes of Trimodal Therapy for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
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The clinical significance of lymph node (LN) status determined by preoperative 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) has not been investigated in patients with locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NCRT) followed by surgery (trimodal therapy).
This study reviewed 132 consecutive patients with ESCC who had been preoperatively evaluated using FDG-PET before and after NCRT to analyze associations among LN status according to PET findings, pathologic LN metastasis, and prognosis of ESCC after trimodal therapy.
Lymph nodes that were PET-positive both before and after NCRT comprised significant predictive markers of pathologic LN metastasis in station-by-station analyses (sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy respectively 41.7%, 95.0%, and 92.7% before, and 12.0%, 99.4%, and 95.6% after NCRT; both p < 0.0001). The numbers of LNs evaluated using PET before and after NCRT were significantly associated with those of pathologic metastatic LNs. Uni- and multivariable analyses selected LN status determined by PET before NCRT as a significant independent predictor of both recurrence-free [LN-negative vs LN-positive: hazard ratio (HR) 1.90; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–3.23; p = 0.045] and overall survival (HR 2.62; 95% CI 1.29–5.30; p = 0.01).
The status of LN determined by preoperative FDG-PET is significantly associated with pathologic LN status and the prognosis of ESCC with trimodal therapy. Thus, FDG-PET is a useful diagnostic tool for preoperative prediction of pathologic LN metastasis and survival among patients with ESCC.
There are no conflicts of interest.
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