Evaluation of the 7th AJCC TNM staging system in point of lymph node classification

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Purpose: The 7th AJCC tumor node metastasis (TNM) staging system modified the classification of the lymph node metastasis widely compared to the 6th edition. To evaluate the prognostic predictability of the new TNM staging system, we analyzed the survival rate of the gastric cancer patients assessed by the 7th staging system. Materials and Methods: Among 2,083 patients who underwent resection for gastric cancer at the department of surgery, Hanyang Medical Center from July 1992 to December 2009, This study retrospectively reviewed 5-year survival rate (5YSR) of 624 patients (TanyN3M0: 464 patients, TanyNanyM1: 160 patients) focusing on the number of metastatic lymph node and distant metastasis. We evaluated the applicability of the new staging system. Results: There were no significant differences in 5YSR between stage IIIC with more than 29 metastatic lymph nodes and stage IV (P=0.053). No significant differences were observed between stage IIIB with more than 28 metastatic lymph nodes and stage IV (P=0.093). Distinct survival differences were present between patients who were categorized as TanyN3M0 with 7 to 32 metastatic lymph nodes and stage IV. But patients with more than 33 metastatic lymph nodes did not show any significant differences compared to stage IV (P=0.055). Among patients with TanyN3M0, statistical significances were seen between patients with 7 to 30 metastatic lymph nodes and those with more than 31 metastatic lymph nodes. Conclusions: In the new staging system, modifications of N classification is mandatory to improve prognostic prediction. Further study involving a greater number of cases is required to demonstrate the most appropriate cutoffs for N classification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastric Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • Lymph nodes
  • Neoplasm staging
  • Stomach neoplasms

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