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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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The Role and Prognostic Significance of Aortopulmonary, Anterior Mediastinal, and Tracheobronchial Lymph Nodes in Esophageal Cancer: Update of the Eighth-Edition TNM Staging System (2018)

Wen-Ping Wang MD, Peng-Zhi Ni MD, Yu-Shang Yang MD, Song-Lin He MD, Wei-Peng Hu MD, Long-Qi Chen MD, PhD
Thoracic Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 4 / April , 2019



The eighth edition of TNM staging for esophageal cancer will be implemented at 2018. The stations 5, 6, and 10 lymph nodes (LNs) have been omitted from the regional lymph node map for the new TNM staging. However, the role and prognostic significance of these LN stations were not clear. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the revised nodal staging is appropriate and to verify the role, prognostic significance, and therapeutic value of these LNs in esophageal cancer.


The records of patients who underwent esophagectomy for cancer in our department between 2007 and 2013 were retrospectively analyzed. The rate of metastases was calculated for stations 5, 6, and 10 LNs. LN metastasis and patient survival were analyzed.


A total of 1637 patients were included. The calculated rate of metastasis to stations 5, 6, and 10 was 3.2%, 2.3%, and 4.9%, respectively. No difference was found in the N stage determined by the seventh and eighth edition N staging systems. The status of station 5, 6, or 10 was not associated with long-term survival according to Cox proportional hazards model analysis.


Metastasis to stations 5, 6, or 10 LNs was infrequent. Omitting of stations 5, 6, and 10 LNs in the eighth edition TNM staging did not influence the accuracy and survival-predicting efficacy. The therapeutic value of lymphadenectomy of stations 5, 6, and 10 was limited. The status of stations 5, 6, and 10 LNs was not associated with long-term survival.

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