Oesophageal cancer is the 7th most common cause of cancer-related death in the developed world and the incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma is now the fastest growing of any gastrointestinal cancer. Lymph node involvement is the single most important prognostic factor in oesophageal cancer. Imaging to determine the extent of lymph node involvement and plan treatment often requires a combination of modalities to avoid under-staging. The 7th edition of the staging system released by the International Union Against Cancer (IUCC) has stratified lymph node involvement according to the number of lymph nodes involved and redefined its groupings for location of metastatic lymph node involvement. This review discusses the prognostic and treatment implications of these modifications and explores micrometastatic lymph node involvement, capsular infiltration and lymph node ratio as possible additions to the staging system.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.