Lymph node status is one of the most important predictors of survival in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Surgically resected pancreatic adenocarcinoma is often locally invasive and may invade directly into peripancreatic lymph nodes. The significance of direct invasion into lymph nodes in the absence of true lymphatic metastases is unclear. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively compare clinical outcome in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma with direct invasion into peripancreatic lymph nodes with patients with node-negative adenocarcinomas and patients with true lymphatic lymph node metastasis. A total of 380 patients with invasive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma classified as pT3, were evaluated: ductal adenocarcinoma with true lymphatic metastasis to regional lymph nodes (248 cases), ductal adenocarcinoma without lymph node involvement (97 cases), and ductal adenocarcinoma with regional lymph nodes involved only by direct invasion from the main tumor mass (35 cases). Isolated lymph node involvement by direct invasion occurred in 35 of 380 (9%) patients. Overall survival for patients with direct invasion of lymph nodes (median survival, 21 mo; 5-year overall survival, 36%) was not statistically different from patients with node-negative adenocarcinomas (median survival, 30 mo; 5-year overall survival, 31%) (P=0.609). Patients with node-negative adenocarcinomas had an improved survival compared with patients with lymph node involvement by true lymphatic metastasis (median survival, 15 mo; 5-year overall survival, 8%) (P<0.001) regardless of the number of lymph nodes involved by adenocarcinoma. There was a trend toward decreased overall survival for patients with 1 or 2 lymph nodes involved by true lymphatic metastasis compared with patients with direct invasion of tumor into lymph nodes (P=0.056). However, this did not reach statistical significance. Our results indicate that patients with isolated direct lymph node invasion have a comparable overall survival with patients with node-negative adenocarcinomas as opposed to true lymphatic lymph node metastasis.
- direct lymph node invasion
- lymph node metastasis
- pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine