Background: Few studies have simultaneously assessed the prognostic value of the multiple classification systems for lymph node (LN) metastases in resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).
Methods: In 600 patients with resected PDAC, we examined the association of LN parameters (AJCC 7th and 8th editions, LN ratio (LNR), and log odds of metastatic LN (LODDS)) with pattern of recurrence and patient survival using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression, respectively. Regression models adjusted for age, sex, margin status, tumour grade, and perioperative therapy.
Results: Lymph node metastases classified by AJCC 7th and 8th editions, LNR, and LODDS were associated with worse disease free-survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) (all Ptrend<0.01). American Joint Committee on Cancer 8th edition effectively predicted DFS and OS, while minimising model complexity. Lymph node metastases had weaker prognostic value in patients with positive margins and distal resections (both Pinteraction<0.03). Lymph node metastases by AJCC 7th and 8th editions did not predict the likelihood of local disease as the first site of recurrence.
Conclusions: American Joint Committee on Cancer 8th edition LN classification is an effective and practical tool to predict outcomes in patients with resected PDAC. However, the prognostic value of LN metastases is attenuated in patients with positive resection margins and distal pancreatectomies.