Skip mediastinal nodal metastases in non-small cell lung cancer

Tanaka, Fumihiro; Takenaka, Kazumasa; Oyanagi, Hiroki; Fujinaga, Takuji; Otake, Yosuke; Yanagihara, Kazuhiro; Ito, Harumi; Wada, Hiromi
June 2004
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Jun2004, Vol. 25 Issue 6, p1114
Academic Journal
Objective: To reveal the incidence and clinical significance of mediastinal nodal metastases without N1-station nodal metastases (‘skip-N2 metastases’) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: A total of 450 NSCLC patients who underwent tumor resection with a systemic mediastinal nodal dissection were retrospectively reviewed. p53 status and proliferative activity represented as proliferative index (PI) were also examined immunohistochemically. Results: Skip-N2 metastases were documented in 49 (13%) patients of all 450 patients; among 334 patients without N1-nodal involvement, 18% patients had skip-N2 metastases. The postoperative survival of skip-N2 patients was almost same as that for patients with metastases to both N1 and N2 nodes. Skip-N2 metastases were significantly more frequent in male patients and squamous cell carcinoma patients. In addition, the mean PI for tumor with skip-N2 metastases was significantly higher than that for any other pathologic nodal (pN)-status diseases. Combined with histologic type and PI, the incidences of skip-N2 metastases for adenocarcinoma showing lower PI were only 5% (7/137) of all patients and 7% (7/94) of patients without N1-nodal involvement. Conclusions: N1 nodal status is not a useful predictor of N2 nodal status in NSCLC, because skip-N2 metastases were documented in 18% patients showing no N1-nodal involvement. However, N1 node-guided dissection might be performed in patients with adenocarcinoma showing lower PI, because the incidence of skip-N2 metastases was extremely low.


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