Correlation Between Clinical and Pathologic Staging in Colon Cancer: Implications for Neoadjuvant Treatment.

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Journal of gastrointestinal surgery : official journal of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract


Cancer; Clinical; Colon; Correlation; Pathologic; Staging


BACKGROUND: Recent randomized trials suggest improved outcomes in patients with locally advanced colon cancer (LACC) treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Optimal selection of patients for NAC depends on accurate clinical staging. The purpose of this study was to examine the degree of correlation between clinical and pathologic staging in patients with colon cancer (CC).

METHODS: Adult patients with non-metastatic CC who underwent surgery were identified from the National Cancer Data Base between 2006 and 2014. Data on clinical and pathologic staging was obtained. Kappa index was used to determine the correlation between clinical and pathologic staging.

RESULTS: One hundred five thousand five hundred sixty-nine patients were identified. The overall correlation rate between clinical and pathologic staging for T stage was 80% (kappa 0.7) and 83% for N stage (kappa 0.6). The correlation rate was 54% for T1, 76% for T2, 95% for T3, and 94% for T4 (P < 0.001). This compared with 81% for N0, 82% for N1, and 97% for N2 (P < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of clinical staging for identifying T3/T4 vs T1/T2 were 80 and 98%, respectively, compared to 60 and 98% for N1/N2 vs N0 (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that current modalities used for clinical staging are accurate in predicting pathologic stage for advanced but not early T and N disease. Further optimization of clinical staging is essential for the accurate selection of patients who may benefit from neoadjuvant therapy and to avoid overtreatment of low-risk patients.

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