For stage II and III esophageal squamous cell carci- noma (ESCC), neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) followed by esophagectomy is recommended in the Japanese guide- lines for the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal cancer. However, recurrence of ESCC is common regardless of the NAC regimen and surgical method, and NAC demonstrates limited efficacy against recurrence. Therefore, the present study was conducted to identify risk factors of recurrence of ESCC with surgery after NAC. The outcomes of 51 patients who underwent esophagectomy for ESCC after NAC from 2010 to 2017 at Kyushu University Hospital were retrospec- tively analyzed. A total of 52 patients with ESCC without NAC followed by esophagectomy from 2001 to 2017 were selected for comparison. Among patients who underwent NAC followed by surgery, only lymphatic invasion (LY; hazard ratio, 2.761; 95% CI, 1.86-6.43, P=0.018) was an independent factor significantly associated with 3-year recurrence-free survival in the multivariate analysis. In patients with patho- logic lymph node metastasis (pN) and no LY after NAC, there was significantly less recurrence compared with patients with pN and LY (P=0.0085), whereas in patients without LY after NAC, the presence of pN was not significantly associated with recurrence (P=0.2401). There were significantly fewer LY (+) patients in the NAC (+) group (P=0.0158) compared with those in the NAC (-) group. The presence of LY was an indepen- dent risk factor for recurrence of ESCC after esophagectomy following NAC. Overall, adjuvant treatment after surgery may be required in cases with remnant LY after NAC.
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