JOURNAL ARTICLE

The status of perineural invasion predicts the outcomes of postoperative radiotherapy in locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Zhong-Hua Ning, Wei Zhao, Xiao-Dong Li, Lu-Jun Chen, Bin Xu, Wen-Dong Gu, Ying-Jie Shao, Yun Xu, Jin Huang, Hong-Lei Pei, Jing-Ting Jiang
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology 2015, 8 (6): 6881-90
26261575

BACKGROUND: Prognosis of locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains dismal even after curative resection and adjuvant radiotherapy. New biomarkers for predicting prognosis and treatment outcomes are needed for improved treatment stratification of patients with locally advanced ESCC. The prognostic and treatment predictive significance of perineural invasion (PNI) in the locally advanced ESCC remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the effect of PNI on the outcomes of locally advanced ESCC patients after curative resection with or without postoperative radiotherapy (PORT).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 262 consecutive locally advanced ESCC patients who underwent curative resection. Tumors sections were re-evaluated for PNI by an independent pathologist blinded to the patients' outcomes. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method; univariate log-rank test and multivariate Cox proportional hazard model were used to evaluate the prognostic value of PNI.

RESULTS: Finally, 243 patients were analyzed and enrolled into this study, of which 132 received PORT. PNI was identified in 22.2% (54/243) of the pathologic sections. The 5-year DFS was favorable for PNI-negative patients versus PNI-positive patients (21.3% vs. 36.7%, respectively; P = 0.005). The 5-year OS was 40.3% for PNI-negative patients versus 21.7% for PNI-positive patients (P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, PNI was an independent prognostic factor. In a subset analysis for patients received PORT, PNI was evaluated as a prognostic predictor as well (P < 0.05). In contrast to patients without PORT, PORT couldn't improve the disease recurrence and survival in locally advanced ESCC patients with PNI-positive (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: PNI could serve as an independent prognostic factor and prognosticate treatment outcomes in locally advanced ESCC patients. The PNI status should be considered when stratifying high-risk locally advanced ESCC patients for adjuvant radiotherapy. Future prospective study is warranted to confirm our results.

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