BACKGROUND: The UICC/AJCC TNM staging system classifies lymph nodes as N0 and N1 in pancreatic cancer. Aim of the study is to determine whether the number of examine nodes, the nodal ratio (NR) and the logarithm odds of positive lymph nodes (LODDS) may better stratify the prognosis of patients undergoing pancreatectomy combined with venous resection for pancreatic cancer with venous involvement.
METHODS: A multicenter database of 303 patients undergoing pancreatectomy in 9 Italian referral centers was analyzed. The prognostic impact of number of retrieved and examined nodes, NR, LODDS was analyzed and compared with ROC curves analysis, Pearson test, univariate and multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: The number of metastatic nodes, pN, the NR and LODDS was significantly correlated with survival at multivariate analyses. The corresponding AUC for the number of metastatic nodes, pN, the NR and LODDS were 0.66, 0.69, 0.63 and 0.65, respectively. The Pearson test showed a significant correlation between the number of retrieved lymph nodes and number of metastatic nodes, pN and the NR. LODDS had the lower coefficient correlation. Concerning N1 patients, the NR, the LODDS and the number of metastatic nodes were able to significantly further stratify survival (p = 0.040; p = 0.046; p = 0.038, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: The number of examined lymph nodes, the NR and LODDS are useful for further prognostic stratification of N1 patients in the setting of pancreatectomy combined with PV/SMV resection. No superiority of one over the others methods was detected.