Surgical Management of Early-Stage Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Based on Lymph Node Metastasis Risk
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In early-stage esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), esophagectomy improves staging but also increases mortality compared with endoscopic resection. Our objective was to quantify esophagectomy mortality and lymph node metastasis (LNM) risk in early-stage EAC to improve surgical treatment allocation.
We identified National Cancer Database (2004–2014) patients with nonmetastatic, Tis, T1a, or T1b EAC who had primary surgical resection and microscopic examination of at least 15 lymph nodes. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression identified predictors of LNM. Cox regression identified predictors of death. The Kaplan–Meier method predicted overall survival (OS).
In 782 patients, LNM rates were: all patients 13.8%, Tis 0%, T1a 3.6%, T1b 23.4%. Independent predictors of LNM were submucosal invasion, lymphovascular invasion (LVI), decreasing differentiation, and tumor size ≥ 2 cm (P < 0.05). For T1a tumors with poor differentiation or size ≥ 2 cm, LNM rates were 10.2 and 6.7%, respectively; 90-day mortality was 3.1%. The LNM rate in well differentiated T1b tumors < 2 cm was 4.2%; 90-day mortality was 6.0%. Estimated 5-year OS was 80.2% versus 64.4% (T1a vs. T1b). LNM increased risk of death for T1a (hazard ratio [HR] 8.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.13–23.22, P < 0.001) and T1b tumors (HR 2.52, 95% CI 1.59–4.00, P < 0.001).
In T1a EAC with poor differentiation or size ≥ 2 cm, esophagectomy should be considered, whereas in T1b EAC with low-risk features (well-differentiated T1b EAC < 2 cm without LVI), endoscopic resection may be sufficient. Treatment guidelines for early-stage EAC should include all high-risk tumor features for LNM and stage-specific esophagectomy mortality.
There are no financial disclosures.
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