Diabetes as a latent risk factor for cancer has been extensively investigated, while its postoperative prognosis for esophageal cancer is rarely reported. We therefore sought to assess whether the elevated fasting blood glucose before surgery was associated with poor survival in esophageal cancer patients by eliciting a subset of data from the ongoing Fujian prospective investigation of cancer (FIESTA) study. Over 15-year follow-up, 2535 patients receiving three-field lymphadenectomy were assessable. Only patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) (n=2396) were analyzed due to the lower prevalence of the other histological types. In ESCC patients, the follow-up duration ranged from 0.5 to 180 months (median 38.2 months). The median survival time (MST) was remarkably shorter in males than in females (80.7 vs. 180+ months, Log-rank test: P<0.001). In males, the survival was worse in patients with diabetes than those without (MST: 27.9 vs. 111.1 months, Log-rank test: P<0.001). In females, the survivor was improved in patients with diabetes (MST: 71.5 months), but was still worse than patients without diabetes (MST: 180+ months, Log-rank test: P<0.001). The overall multivariate hazard ratio for per unit increment in fasting blood glucose was 1.11 (95% confidence interval or CI: 1.09-1.14, P<0.001) and 1.08 (95% CI: 1.03-1.13, P=0.002) in males and females, respectively. Further survival tree analysis consolidated the discrimination ability of fasting blood glucose for the survival of ESCC patients. Taken together, our findings convincingly demonstrated that the elevated preoperative fasting blood glucose can predict poor survival of ESCC patients, especially in males.
Keywords: FIESTA study; esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; fasting blood glucose; mortality; prognosis.