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Grading lymph node metastasis: a feasible approach for prognostication of patients with stage III colorectal cancer


This study aimed to assess the clinicopathological significance of tumour differentiation of metastatic lymph node tissue in patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC)/Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) stage III colorectal cancer. In a cohort of 145 patients, lymph node grades were G1 in 77 (53.1%), G2 in 41 (28.3%) and G3 in 27 (18.6%) cases, respectively. Despite differences in 77 (53.1%) cases, primary tumour and lymph node grade correlated significantly (Somer's D=0.639; p<0.001). Lymph node grade was significantly associated with N classification (p=0.009), tumour size (p=0.024) and lymphovascular invasion (p=0.004). Patients with lymph node grade G1 had better progression-free survival (p=0.031) and cancer-specific survival (p=0.008). Multivariable analysis identified lymph node grade as independent predictor of cancer-specific survival in this cohort. In conclusion, lymph node grade emerged as a promising novel prognostic variable for patients with AJCC/UICC stage III disease. Additional studies are warranted to validate this new finding.


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