Prognostic value of positive lymph nodes in rectal cancer

Manuel R. Moran, Edwin C. James, David A. Rothenberger, Stanley M. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Abdominal "curative" resections for rectal cancer in 109 patients with positive lymph nodes were prospectively studied. The best subdivision of patients for predicting outcome was into 1-3 and >3 positive lymph node groups. Comparison with patients with >3 positive lymph nodes demonstrated that patients with 1-3 positive nodes had less local (35.0 percentvs.13.0 percent;P=0.007) and less distant recurrences (45.0 percentvs. 26.0 percent;P=0.04) and had much better crude five-year survival (58.2 percentvs. 17.0 percent;P< 0.0001). For predicting postsurgical outcome in patients with positive lymph nodes, the results justify subdividing patients into the following two prognostic subgroups: 1) those with 1-3 involved lymph nodes and 2) those with metastatic tumor in four or more lymph nodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-581
Number of pages3
JournalDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992


  • Metastatic lymph nodes
  • Rectal cancer
  • Recurrent rectal cancer
  • Staging

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