Pathways of lymph node metastasis and prognosis after right hemicolectomy for cecal cancer: results from a retrospective single center

World J Surg Oncol. 2023 Sep 6;21(1):281. doi: 10.1186/s12957-023-03148-w.


Background: The recommended operation for cecum cancer (CC) is right hemicolectomy (RH) in some Western countries while the principle of D3 lymphadenectomy in Japan recommends resecting approximately 10 cm from the tumor edge. Therefore, the optimal surgical approach for cecum cancer (CC) remains controversial. We conducted this retrospective study to explore the pattern of lymph node metastasis and better surgical procedures for CC.

Methods: A total of 224 cecum cancer patients from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2021, were retrospectively included in the final study. The pattern of lymph node metastasis (LNM) was investigated.

Results: A total of 113 (50.4%, 113/224) patients had pathologically confirmed LNM. The most frequent metastatic site was no. 201 lymph node (46%, 103/224), while 20 (8.9%, 20/224) patients had LNM in no. 202 lymph node, and 8 (3.6%, 8/224) patients had LNM in no. 203 lymph node. Only 1 (0.4%, 1/224) patient had LNM in no. 221 lymph node, four (1.8, 4/224%) patients had LNM in no. 223 lymph node, and no patients had LNM in no. 222 lymph node. LNM in no. 223 lymph node was significantly associated with a poor prognosis. Multivariate analysis indicated that LNM in no. 223 lymph node (HR = 4.59, 95% CI 1.18-17.86, P = 0.028) was the only independent risk factor associated with worse disease-free survival (DFS).

Conclusions: The LNM in no. 223 lymph node for cecum cancer was rare. Therefore, standard right hemicolectomy excision is too extensive for most CC cases.

Keywords: Cecum cancer; D3 lymphadenectomy; Middle colic artery; Right hemicolectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Cecal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Colectomy
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies