The role of lympha enectomy in esophageal cancer

Glyn G. Jamieson, Peter J. Lamb, Sarah K. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To address the role of lymphadenectomy in the treatment of esophageal cancer.

Background: The role of lymphadenectomy in esophageal cancer surgery is controversial, and there is a lack of uniformity as to what the term means.

Methods: The published data was reviewed to evaluate the evidence base for, and the terminology associated with, lymphadenectomy for esophageal cancer. 

Results: Recommendations are given for a standardization of terminology for radical and nonradical lymphadenectomy procedures. Although there is no doubt that the presence of lymph node metastases worsens prognosis for a patient, there is a lack of high-level evidence to support lymphadenectomy. Logically, the best procedure, from a staging and perhaps theoretical oncologic point of view, is a 3-field lymphadenectomy but it is not clear which patients, if any, are most likely to benefit.

Conclusions: Well-designed randomized controlled trials are required to test, in a scientific manner, which of these procedures we should be offering our patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-209
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


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