Postoperative Complications After Esophagectomy for
  Adenocarcinoma of the Esophagus Are Related ...
Lagarde et al                                                           Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January ...
Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January 2008                                                  Postoperative Comp...
Lagarde et al                                                                   Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, ...
Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January 2008                                                Postoperative Compli...
Lagarde et al                                                                        Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Numbe...
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Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy


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Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy

  1. 1. ORIGINAL ARTICLES Postoperative Complications After Esophagectomy for Adenocarcinoma of the Esophagus Are Related to Timing of Death Due to Recurrence Sjoerd M. Lagarde, MD,* Johannes D. de Boer, MSc,* Fiebo J. W. ten Kate, MD,† Olivier R. C. Busch, MD,* Huug Obertop, MD,* and Jan J. B. van Lanschot, MD* Background: Esophagectomy is frequently accompanied by sub- stantial complications with secondary disturbance of the immune T he incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is rapidly rising.1–3 Esophageal adenocarcinoma is an aggressive disease with early lymphatic and hematogenous system. After esophagectomy for adenocarcinoma of the distal dissemination. Surgery is the best curative treatment op- esophagus and/or gastroesophageal junction, the majority of patients tion. Centralization of surgical resections, advances in develops an early recurrence and dies within 2 years. The aim of this surgical techniques and improvements in perioperative study was to determine the relevance of perioperative complications care (eg, epidural analgesia, early extubation) have re- on the timing of death due to recurrence. duced the risk of esophagectomy to an acceptable level.4 – 8 Methods: A consecutive series of 351 patients who underwent esophagectomy for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastro- However, these advances have failed to translate into a esophageal junction was reviewed. substantial improvement of long-term survival after surgi- Results: Of the 351 included patients, 191 patients (54%) died due cal resection with 5-year survival rates rarely exceeding to recurrence of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Of these 191 patients, 30%.6,8 –11 77 (40%), 138 (72%), and 186 patients (97%) died before 12, 24, Despite comprehensive preoperative staging to select and 60 months, respectively. Multivariate Cox regression analysis patients for potentially curative surgery, many have unrecog- demonstrated that T-stage, lymph node ratio 0.20, the presence of nized metastatic disease at the time of first presentation and extracapsular lymph node involvement, but not complications were later present with locoregional, hematogenous, and/or trans- significant factors for the prediction of death due to cancer recur- celomic recurrences. Disappointingly, even in patients who rence. However, in the patients who died, multivariate Cox regres- were operated on with curative intent, the majority develops sion analysis demonstrated that not only the presence of extracap- recurrence and dies within 2 years.7,12–16 Only a minority of sular lymph node involvement but also the occurrence of patients developing recurrence suffers from relatively late complications were significantly related with a shorter time interval recurrence. This marked difference in biologic behavior prob- until death due to recurrence. ably depends both on tumor characteristics and on host Conclusion: The relation between perioperative complications and factors. It has been suggested that potent immunosurveillance cancer recurrence per se is not causal. However, postoperative is of pivotal importance to eradicate microscopic residual complications are independently associated with the early timing of disease after surgical resection.17–19 Major surgical resection death due to cancer recurrence. A possible explanation for this is frequently accompanied by substantial complications with phenomenon is that immunologic host factors enhance microscopic secondary disturbance of the immune system.17–19 It could be residual disease to develop more rapidly into clinically manifest hypothesized that these complications might have a negative recurrence. impact on immunosurveillance and thus on tumor recurrence and long-term survival. (Ann Surg 2008;247: 71–76) To our knowledge, no attention has been paid to the predictors of timing of death due to recurrence after esophagectomy. It remains unknown whether patients who From the *Departments of *Surgery and †Pathology, Academic Medical die due to an early recurrence had more advanced disease Center at the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. at the time of operation or had a secondary disturbance of Huug Obertop and Jan J. B. van Lanschot are currently at Department of the immune system due to the presence of perioperative Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam. Supported by a grant (04-77) from the Maag Lever Darm Stichting (Dutch complications. Therefore, the aim of the present study was Digestive Foundation) (to S. M. L.). to determine the factors associated with survival due to Reprints: S. M. Lagarde, MD, Department of Surgery, St. Lucas Andreas cancer recurrence after intentionally curative esophagec- hospital, Jan tooropstraat 164, 1061 AE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. tomy for adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and E-mail: sjoerdlagarde@hotmail.com, s.lagarde@slaz.nl. Copyright © 2008 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) and especially to deter- ISSN: 0003-4932/08/24701-0071 mine the relevance of complications to the time interval DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e31815b695e until death due to cancer recurrence. Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January 2008 71
  2. 2. Lagarde et al Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January 2008 PATIENTS AND METHODS Follow-up Between January 1993 and January 2003, a consecutive All patients were seen at the outpatient clinic at 3 to 4 series of 351 patients underwent esophagectomy for adeno- months intervals during the first 2 years and every 6 months carcinoma of the esophagus and/or GEJ. Patients did not thereafter for 3 years. After 5 years, follow-up was obtained by receive pre- or postoperative chemo- and/or radiation ther- telephone from the patient or the patient’s family practitioner. apy. Clinicopathologic data, including complications, from Follow-up extended to August 2005 ensuring a minimal poten- all operated patients were permanently collected in a prospec- tial follow-up of 32 months. Follow-up was complete in all tive database. patients. Recurrence of disease was only diagnosed on clinical Preoperative staging was done with endoscopy with grounds. Radiologic modalities were not routinely used. When histologic biopsy, endosonography, external sonography of recurrence was suspected, additional investigations were per- the neck, computed tomography scan and, on indication, formed on indication. positron emission tomography. Surgery was performed/su- pervised by 1 of 3 experienced surgeons (ORCB, HO, JJBvL) Definition of Recurrence Pattern at the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amster- Recurrences were classified as hematogenous recur- dam, a tertiary referral center with a wide experience in esoph- rence, locoregional recurrence, and transcelomic (pleural/ ageal surgery. Operations were performed with curative intent, peritoneal) recurrence. Recurrence at cervical-, celiac-, or ie, in the absence of local irresectability and/or distant metasta- paraaortic lymph nodes was classified as locoregional recur- ses (including tumor positive cervical lymph nodes or irresect- rence. Simultaneous locoregional and hematogenous disease able celiac nodes). Operations were performed via the transhiatal was classified as hematogenous recurrence. or transthoracic approach. During transhiatal esophagectomy, Statistics the mid- to distal esophagus was dissected under direct vision Statistical calculations were performed using SPSS through the widened hiatus of the diaphragm. The tumor and its version 12.0 (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, adjacent lymph nodes were dissected en-bloc. During transtho- Chicago, IL). The primary end point of the analysis was racic esophagectomy, a right-sided postero-lateral thoracotomy disease specific survival (defined as time from date of surgery was performed. The esophagus was resected en-bloc with all to date of death as a result of disease recurrence). To perform (peri-) esophageal tissue in the mediastinum including the tho- statistical analysis in a homogeneous group, patients who racic duct, azygos vein, ipsilateral pleura, and lymph nodes. died due to postoperative complications and patients who The subcarinal nodes and the origin of left gastric artery died due to unrelated causes were excluded. Cox regression were marked in the resection specimen. Pathologic findings models were used to examine the association between poten- were described on a standardized form. The pTNM-stage, tial predictors and the time until death as a result of esoph- differentiation grade, radicality of resection, total number of ageal cancer. The following potential predictors were ana- resected lymph nodes and total number of positive lymph lyzed; age, sex, operative approach, American Society of nodes, including their location were recorded. The lymph Anesthesiologists classification, pT-stage, pN-stage, presence node ratio was defined as the ratio between the total amount of positive truncal nodes, lymph node ratio (categorized into of positive lymph nodes divided by the total amount of 0.20 or 20%20), the presence of extracapsular LNI, pres- resected nodes. Lymph nodes were cut in 2 and routine ence of Barrett mucosa, differentiation grade, microscopi- hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed using a stan- cally irradical resection, and the presence of medical or dardized protocol. Extracapsular lymph node involvement surgical complications. The Cox proportional-hazards regres- (LNI) was defined as metastatic adenocarcinoma extending sion model was used for both univariate and multivariate through the nodal capsule into the perinodal fatty tissue. analyses. The models in the present analysis were constructed (1) to identify factors associated with death due to recurrence Definition of Complications and (2) to identify prognostic factors in patients who died due Complications were categorized as medical (including to recurrence. infectious complications) or complications directly attribut- Variables achieving a probability value of less than able to surgical technique. Medical complications included 0.1 in the univariate analysis were subsequently introduced cardiac complications (atrial fibrillation, myocardial isch- in a multivariate stepwise proportional-hazard analysis emia, heart failure, cerebral infarction), respiratory failure (Cox model) to identify those variables significantly asso- (diagnosed with blood gas criteria with or without mechanical ciated with death due to recurrence and timing of death due ventilatory support), atelectasis, pulmonary embolism, and to recurrent disease. Results are given as hazard ratios with renal failure. Infectious complications included wound infec- their 95% confidence interval. P-values 0.05 (2-sided) tion, pleural empyema, pneumonia (defined as a new infiltrate were considered statistically significant. on chest x-ray, accompanied by purulent sputum or fever, for which treatment with antibiotics was started), and sepsis. RESULTS Technical complications were recorded as chylothorax, Between January 1993 and January 2003 a consecutive chyloperitoneum, anastomotic leakage (including both radio- series of 351 patients underwent esophagectomy for malig- logic and clinical leakages), ischemia of the gastric tube, nant disease of the esophagus and/or GEJ. The following hemorrhage, recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy, diaphragmatic patients were excluded from this study; 8 patients in whom herniation, and dehiscence of the fascia. tumor was left behind macroscopically and 10 patients who 72 © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  3. 3. Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January 2008 Postoperative Complications After Esophagectomy died of postoperative complications (3%). Furthermore, 22 Risk Factors for Death Due to Cancer patients who died during follow-up due to unrelated disease Recurrence were excluded from this analysis; 8 patients due to myocar- The clinicopathologic characteristics of 191 patients dial infarction, 6 patients due to cerebral infarction, 5 patients (62%) who died of recurrence and 120 patients (38%) who due to pulmonary disease, 1 patient due to pathologically were alive are given in Table 1. In univariate analysis, the proven primary pancreatic cancer, 1 patient due to patholog- radicality of resection, the depth of invasion (T-stage), the ically proven primary lung cancer, and 1 patient with Parkin- presence of lymphatic dissemination, the presence of positive son disease. Five (1%) patients who experienced recurrence at last follow-up, but were still alive, were censored in celiac nodes, a lymph node ratio 0.20, the presence of survival analyses. extracapsular LNI and the differentiation grade of the tumor and the presence of medical or surgical complications were all significantly associated with death from recurrence of TABLE 1. Clinicopathologic Characteristics of Patients With adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and/or GEJ (Table Adenocarcinoma of the Distal Esophagus or 2). There were no significant differences in survival time Gastroesophageal Junction. Patients Are Divided Into Groups between the 3 operating or supervising surgeons (P 0.258). of Those Who Died of Cancer Recurrence and Those Who Multivariate Cox regression analysis demonstrated that Were Alive At Least 32 Months After Date of Operation T-stage, a lymph node ratio 0.20 and the presence of Died of Recurrence, Alive, extracapsular LNI were significant factors for the develop- Factor N 191 N 120 ment of cancer recurrence (Table 3). The presence of medical Age* 64 (35-85) 64 (37–83) or surgical complications was not related with cancer recur- Sex rence in multivariate analysis. Male 162 (85%) 100 (83%) Female 29 (15%) 20 (17%) Operative approach THE 137 (72%) 88 (73%) TABLE 2. Univariate Cox Regression Analysis for Disease TTE 52 (28%) 32 (27%) Specific Survival After Esophagectomy for Adenocarcinoma ASA classification of the Esophagus or Gastroesophageal Junction. Results Are 1 43 (23%) 25 (21%) Given as Hazard Ratios (HR) and Their 95% Confidence 2 113 (56%) 78 (65%) Interval (CI) 3 33 (17%) 17 (14%) Factor Hazard Ratio 95% CI P 4 2 (1%) 0 pT-stage Age, 1 yr increment 0.99 0.978–1.01 0.327 pT1 12 (6%) 48 (40%) Male gender 1.02 0.69–1.52 0.918 pT2 19 (10%) 17 (14%) Transthoracic approach 0.91 0.66–1.24 0.538 pT3 148 (77%) 54 (45%) ASA classification (compared with ASA 1) pT4 12 (7%) 1 (1%) 2 0.87 0.61–1.23 0.419 pN-stage 3 1.04 0.66–1.64 0.878 N0 28 (15%) 69 (58%) 4 1.88 0.45–7.75 0.385 N1 163 (85%) 51 (43%) pT-stage (compared with pT1) Presence of positive celiac 52 (27%) 16 (13%) pT2 3.27 1.58–6.74 0.001 node (M1a) pT3 6.52 3.61–11.76 <0.001 Lymph node ratio* 0.30 (0.0-1.0) 0.0 (0.0-0.6) pT4 12.89 5.76–28.88 <0.001 Presence of extracapsular 122 (64%) 19 (16%) Presence of lymph node 4.69 3.13–7.03 <0.001 LNI metastasis (pN1) Presence of Barrett 101 (53%) 75 (63%) Presence of positive celiac 2.01 1.46–2.77 <0.001 mucosa node (M1a) Differentiation grade Lymph node ratio 0.20 4.57 3.38–6.20 <0.001 Good 4 (2%) 13 (11%) Presence of extracapsular 4.42 3.28–6.00 <0.001 Moderate 61 (32%) 63 (53%) LNI Poor 126 (66%) 44 (37%) Presence of Barrett mucosa 1.27 0.96–1.69 0.110 Microscopically irradical 47 (25%) 9 (8%) Differentiation grade (compared with good) resection (R1) Moderate 2.19 0.80–6.04 0.128 Medical or surgical 121 (63%) 55 (46%) Poor 4.53 1.67–12.28 0.003 complications Microscopically irradical 2.34 1.68–3.26 <0.001 ICU stay* 2 (1–70) 2 (1–73) resection (R1) Hospital stay* 17 (10–104) 15 (10–129) Medical or surgical 1.32 0.99–1.77 0.062 complications *Values depicted are median (range). ASA indicates The American Society of Anesthesiologists; THE, transhiatal esoph- Statistically significant results shown in bold. agectomy; TTE, transthoracic esophagectomy; LNI, lymph node involvement; ICU, ASA indicates The American Society of Anesthesiologists; LNI, lymph node Intensive Care Unit. involvement. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 73
  4. 4. Lagarde et al Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January 2008 TABLE 3. Multivariate Cox Regression Analysis for Disease TABLE 4. Univariate Cox Regression Analysis for Timing Specific Survival After Esophagectomy for Adenocarcinoma Until Death in Patients Who Died Due to Recurrence From of the Esophagus or Gastroesophageal Junction. Results Are Adenocarcinoma of the Esophagus or Gastroesophageal Given as Hazard Ratios (HR) and Their 95% Confidence Junction. Results Are Given as Hazard Ratios (HR) and Their Interval (CI) 95% Confidence Interval (CI) Hazard 95% Confidence Hazard 95% Confidence Factor Ratio Interval P Factor Ratio Interval P pT-stage (compared with pT1) Age, 1 yr increment 0.99 0.97–1.00 0.071 pT2 2.28 1.07–4.88 0.034 Male gender 1.02 0.69–1.52 0.920 pT3 3.05 1.58–5.88 0.001 Transthoracic approach 1.13 0.82–1.54 0.467 pT4 5.43 2.28–12.87 <0.001 ASA classification (compared with ASA 1) Presence of lymph node 1.24 0.73–2.09 0.430 2 0.85 0.60–1.21 0.370 metastasis (pN1) 3 0.98 0.62–1.56 0.941 Presence of positive 1.05 0.74–1.49 0.780 4 1.83 0.44–7.56 0.404 celiac node (M1a) pT-stage (compared with pT1) Lymph node ratio 0.20 6.91 3.27–14.56 <0.001 pT2 0.94 0.45–1.98 0.871 Presence of extracapsular LNI 1.91 1.28–2.85 0.002 pT3 1.60 0.86–2.96 0.135 Differentiation grade (compared with good) pT4 1.87 0.81–4.30 0.141 Moderate 0.80 0.279–2.30 0.679 Presence of lymph node 2.07 1.36–3.15 0.001 Poor 1.24 0.44–3.52 0.688 metastasis (pN1) Microscopically irradical 0.98 0.66–1.43 0.897 Presence of positive 1.67 1.20–2.31 0.002 resection (R1) celiac node (M1a) Medical or surgical 1.21 0.90–1.63 0.214 Lymph node ratio 0.20 1.95 1.44–2.64 <0.001 complications Presence of extracapsular LNI 2.17 1.58–2.98 <0.001 Statistically significant results shown in bold. Presence of Barrett mucosa 1.04 0.78–1.39 0.780 Differentiation grade (compared with good) Time Interval Until Death Due to Cancer Moderate 1.96 0.62–6.19 0.253 Poor 0.81 0.59–1.10 0.167 Recurrence Microscopically irradical 1.38 0.99–1.93 0.058 Of the 191 patients who died due to recurrence of esoph- resection (R1) ageal adenocarcinoma, 77 patients (40%), 138 patients (72%), Medical or surgical 1.47 1.08–2.00 0.013 and 186 patients (97%) died before 12, 24, and 60 months, complications respectively. Almost 3 quarters died within 2 years and only 5 Statistically significant results shown in bold. patients (3%) died due to recurrence after 5 years. To identify which factors are responsible for the time interval until death due to recurrence, univariate Cox regression analysis was performed. TABLE 5. Multivariate Cox Regression Analysis for the Time This analysis revealed that besides conventional pathologic fac- Interval Until Death Due to Cancer Recurrence. Results Are tors, (such as depth of invasion, the presence of lymphatic Given as Hazard Ratios and Their 95% Confidence Interval (CI) dissemination, the lymph node ratio, the presence of extracap- 95% Confidence sular LNI), also the occurrence of medical and/or surgical Factor Hazard Ratio Interval P complications was associated with a shorter time interval until Age, 1 yr increment 0.99 0.98–1.00 0.214 death due to cancer recurrence (Table 4). Multivariate Cox Presence of lymph node 1.07 0.62–1.85 0.807 regression analysis demonstrated that the presence of extracap- metastasis (pN1) sular LNI and the occurrence of medical and/or surgical com- Presence of positive celiac 1.36 0.96–1.94 0.087 plications were significantly related with a shorter time interval node (M1a) until death due to cancer recurrence (Table 5). Lymph node ratio 0.20 1.42 0.98–2.04 0.061 The presence of medical or surgical complications (P Presence of extracapsular LNI 1.72 1.18–2.52 0.005 0.030), especially more wound infections (P 0.033) and Microscopically irradical 1.08 0.76–1.53 0.681 more sepsis (P 0.013) was related to a shorter time to death resection (R1) due to recurrence. Also the presence of surgical complica- Medical surgical 1.46 1.06–2.00 0.020 complications tions, especially chylothorax (P 0.001) was related with a shorter time to death due to recurrence (Table 6). The oper- Statistically significant results shown in bold. ating surgeon was not related with timing of death due to recurrence (P 0.439). most 3 quarters of cancer related deaths occurred within 2 DISCUSSION years after surgery, which is in line with other studies.7,12–16 Despite extensive preoperative staging, 60% of the Only a small proportion developed a recurrence after 5 years. patients treated in our hospital developed cancer recurrence In various malignancies, a relation has been described within 60 months after (intentionally) curative surgery. Al- between postoperative complications and recurrence of can- 74 © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  5. 5. Annals of Surgery • Volume 247, Number 1, January 2008 Postoperative Complications After Esophagectomy might indicate that the primary tumor biology determines TABLE 6. The Influence of Specific Complications for the Time Interval Until Death Due to Cancer Recurrence. Results who will die of recurrence and not a hypothetical negative From Univariate Analysis Are Given as Hazard Ratios and impact of postoperative complications on oncological immu- Their 95% Confidence Interval (CI). Hazard Ratios and P- nosurveillance. Possibly, the (indirect) relation between post- Values If 5 or More Events Were Present operative complications and death due to recurrence can be Medical and Infectious Hazard 95% Confidence explained by the fact that the operative procedure is techni- Complications N Ratio Interval P cally more demanding in patients with more advanced disease and therefore is accompanied with more postoperative com- Cardiovascular 27 1.37 0.91–2.06 0.134 complications* plications. Another explanation might be that patients with Atrial fibrillation 20 1.55 0.98–2.48 0.064 more advanced disease have a higher load of unrecognized Myocardial ischemia 3 (micro) metastatic tumor that is left behind and makes the Heart failure 5 patient more susceptible for complications. Cerebral infarction 1 Interestingly, the presence of postoperative complica- ARDS 6 1.37 0.91–2.06 0.134 tions did not have a significant effect on recurrence per se, but Atelectasis 51 1.27 0.92–1.75 0.154 was related to the timing of death due to recurrence in Pulmonary embolism 4 multivariate analysis. The occurrence of postoperative com- Renal failure 1 plications was an independent predisposing factor for a short Wound infection 6 2.44 1.07–5.53 0.033 time interval until death due to cancer recurrence. It is Pleural empyema 3 unlikely that this effect can be explained by a difference in Sepsis 8 2.48 1.21–5.09 0.013 preoperative comorbidity because American Society of An- pneumonia 49 1.24 0.89–1.72 0.202 esthesiologists classification was not a significant factor in Total medical complications 96 1.38 1.03–1.83 0.030 univariate analysis. It could be hypothesized that complica- Chylothorax 9 3.47 1.75–6.9 <0.001 tions are accompanied by a secondary disturbance of the Chyloperitoneum 1 immune system. After major surgery there is a profound but Anastomotic leakage 28 0.88 0.59–1.33 0.556 self-limiting systemic inflammatory response in patients with Radiological 16 1.36 0.81–2.28 0.243 an uncomplicated postoperative course. However, patients Clinical 12 0.61 0.347–1.09 0.096 who develop postoperative complications suffer a “double Hemorrhage 4 hit,” the first as a result of surgery and the second from their Recurrent laryngeal 15 1.48 0.87–2.52 0.152 complications. Possibly, these circumstances enhance that nerve injury residual microscopic disease can develop more rapidly to Diaphragmatic herniation 3 become clinically manifest and fatal.17–19,22 This is further Dehiscence of the fascia 5 1.33 0.54–3.25 0.531 underlined by the fact that especially patients who developed Total surgical 57 1.33 0.97–1.82 0.077 sepsis and patients who had chyle leakage died earlier. The complications first group of patients probably suffers from a major double Medical or surgical 121 1.47 1.08–2.00 0.013 hit and the second group of patients suffers from an ongoing complications loss of fluids and proteins (consisting of eg, lymphocytes and Statistically significant results shown in bold. immunoglobulines),30,31 which further deteriorates the al- *There were 2 patients with atrial fibrillation and myocardial ischemia. ready malnourished and immunocompromised patient with ARDS indicates Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. adenocarcionoma of the esophagus and GEJ.30 –33 In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that the relation between postoperative complications and cer.16,21,22 In esophageal cancer, a prognostic relation be- cancer recurrence per se is not causal. However, postopera- tween the presence of complications after esophagectomy and tive complications are significantly associated with a short overall survival has been reported before.6,23 However, in time interval until death due to cancer recurrence in multi- those earlier studies, no effect of complications was identified variate analysis. A possible explanation for this phenomenon on tumor specific survival and thus the impact of complica- is that immunologic host factors enhance microscopic resid- tions on cancer recurrence remained unclear. A study focus- ual disease to develop more rapidly into fatal recurrence. ing only on anastomotic leakage did not find a long-term survival effect due to this complication, but the number of ACKNOWLEDGMENTS patients with anastomotic leakage (n 14) was too small to The authors are very grateful to J. B. Reitsma, PhD, draw definite conclusions.24 from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biosta- In the present study, classic pathologic factors, which tistics of the Academic Medical Center at the University of indicate advanced disease, such as advanced T-stage, lymph Amsterdam for his statistical suggestions. node ratio 0.20, and the presence of extracapsular LNI, were all independent prognostic factors associated with death due to cancer recurrence.11,25–29 Although the presence of REFERENCES 1. Botterweck AA, Schouten LJ, Volovics A, et al. Trends in incidence of complications was related with survival in univariate analysis adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus and gastric cardia in ten European in multivariate analysis, the occurrence of complications was countries. Int J Epidemiol. 2000;29:645– 654. not an independent predictor of death due to recurrence. This 2. Devesa SS, Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF Jr. Changing patterns in he incidence © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 75
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