Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: pathology and prognosis

World J Surg. May-Jun 1994;18(3):321-30. doi: 10.1007/BF00316810.


Between 1985 and 1992 a total of 403 patients with resected thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma were evaluated histopathologically, and various pathologic findings related to survival were examined. Concerning depth of tumor invasion, 8 (2%) cases were pTis, 110 (27%) were pT1, 48 (12%) were pT2, 202 (50%) were pT3, and 35 (9%) were pT4. Lymphatic invasion was detected in 299 cases (74%), blood vessel invasion in 200 cases (49%), intramural metastasis in 45 (11%), and lymph node metastasis in 232 (58%). In pT1 carcinoma cases, 4% of mucosal carcinomas and 30% of submucosal carcinomas had lymph node metastasis. Tumors with deeper invasion had a higher incidence of lymph node metastasis: 74% of pT3 carcinomas and 83% of pT4 carcinomas. The sites of lymph node metastasis were divided into mediastinal, cervical, and abdominal fields; and rates of lymph node metastasis were 49%, 14%, and 41%, respectively. In all resected cases, the operative mortality rate was 3.2%, and the overall 5-year survival rate was 44.8%. The 5-year survival rate of patients with curative resection (R0 and R1) was 49.5%, whereas patients with palliative resection (R2) did not survive more than 3 years. There was no significant difference in survival relative to tumor location. In curatively resected cases, the significant prognostic factors by multivariate analysis were pT category, vascular invasion, lymph node metastasis, and intramural metastasis. Prognosis of lymph node-positive cases did not depend on the positive node site. Patients with only one positive node had a better prognosis, and those with six or more positive nodes had a poor prognosis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate