Background: Reports on the influence of various prognostic factors in carcinoma of the esophagus are conflicting. The prognostic value of a set of clinicopathologic factors and DNA ploidy were examined in 74 patients with surgically resected squamous cell carcinoma of the lower and middle third of the esophagus.
Methods: All patients had surgery performed in a single thoracic surgical unit at the Tata Memorial Hospital between January, 1984 and December, 1987. The clinicopathologic factors studied were (1) gross residual disease at operation; (2) morphology of the tumor; (3) depth of microscopic invasion; (4) lymph node involvement; (5) histologic grade; (6) vascular and lymphatic embolism; and (7) sex. DNA ploidy and S-phase fraction (SpF) were determined by flow cytometry on archival tissues extracted from paraffin blocks. Ploidy status could be determined successfully in all 74 tumors, whereas SpF could be assessed only in 25.
Results: Of the various prognostic factors examined with the Cox stepwise regression model, residual disease (P = 0.000), depth of invasion (P = 0.047), and lymph node status (P = 0.077) were found to be correlated with overall survival.
Conclusions: DNA ploidy was not related to prognosis. The overall survival of this group of patients at 36 months was 28%, and median survival was 18 months.