Checking more lymph nodes linked to cancer patient survival

Jul 22, 2008

Why do patients with gastric or pancreatic cancer live longer when they are treated at cancer centers or high-volume hospitals than patients treated at low-volume or community hospitals?

New research from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine found that cancer patients have more lymph nodes examined for the spread of their disease if they are treated at hospitals performing more cancer surgeries or those designated as comprehensive cancer centers.

Lymph node metastases (indicating the spread of cancer) have been shown to predict patients' prognosis after cancer tissue is removed from the stomach or pancreas. If too few lymph nodes are examined for malignant cells, a patient's cancer may be incorrectly classified, which alters the prognosis, treatment decisions and eligibility for clinical trials.

"The differences in nodal evaluation may contribute to improved long-term outcomes at cancer centers and high-volume hospitals for patients with gastric and pancreatic cancer," said Karl Bilimoria, M.D., lead author of the paper and a surgical resident at the Feinberg School. The study was published in the July issue of Archives of Surgery.

Current guidelines recommend evaluating at least 15 regional lymph nodes for gastric and pancreatic cancer, according to the study.

Researchers reported that patients at a high-volume hospital or a hospital designated as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center or as part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network were more likely to have at least 15 lymph nodes evaluated than patients undergoing surgery at community or low-volume hospitals.

"Every reasonable attempt should be made to assess the optimal number of lymph nodes to accurately diagnose stage disease in patients with gastric and pancreatic cancer," said Bilimoria, who also is a research fellow at the American College of Surgeons. "The status of patients' lymph nodes is a powerful predictor of their outcome."

Source: Northwestern University

Explore further: New breast cancer imaging method promising

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The promise and peril of nanotechnology

Mar 26, 2014

Scientists at Northwestern University have found a way to detect metastatic breast cancer by arranging strands of DNA into spherical shapes and using them to cover a tiny particle of gold, creating a "nano-flare" ...

Recommended for you

New breast cancer imaging method promising

56 minutes ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

1 hour ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

Breast cancer replicates brain development process

1 hour ago

New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.

Is genetic instability the key to beating cancer?

3 hours ago

Cancerous tumors may be poised at the edge of their own destruction, an insight that could help researchers find new, more effective treatments, suggest SFI External Professor Ricard Solé and colleagues in an April 9 paper ...

Phase 3 study may be game-changer for acute myeloid leukemia

7 hours ago

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say clinical trials for a new experimental drug to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are very promising. Patients treated with CPX-351, a combination of the chemotherapeutic drugs cytarabine ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

New breast cancer imaging method promising

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Breast cancer replicates brain development process

New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

Using antineutrinos to monitor nuclear reactors

When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for monitoring. ...