Vascular invasion is not a risk factor in oesophageal cancer recurrence.
AIM: The outcome of the treatment of oesophageal cancer remains poor despite improved treatment modalities and recurrence remains a major problem despite improved staging and treatment. The aim was to identify the independent risk factors responsible in the recurrence of oesophageal cancer. METHODS: The patients who had elective oesophagectomy (n = 244) with curative intent were studied. One hundred and eighty four patients had surgery alone, 44 patients had neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and surgery while 16 patients had neo-adjuvant chemotherapy, surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. We have analysed patients who had surgery alone (n = 184). Data was collected for demography, type of operation, histology, staging (TNM), vascular invasion (VI), differentiation of tumour, type of chemotherapy and recurrence of tumour. RESULTS: The median age was 67 years (IQR 60, 71). The T1, T2, T3 distribution was 10%, 24% and 66% respectively. Forty percent had no nodal involvement (N0) and 60% had N1 stage disease. Twenty three percent of patients had vascular invasion. Univariate analysis of histo-pathological factors identified lymph node yield (p = 0.06), curative resection R0 (p = 0.004) and vascular invasion (VI) (P = 0.69) as prognostic indicators of recurrence. Multivariate analysis showed that number of lymph nodes yielded (p = 0.01) and R0 resection remain independent indicators of recurrence of tumour. However, VI (p = 0.2) and age at disease onset (p = 0.8) were not indicators of recurrence in oesophageal cancer patients. CONCLUSION: R0 and lymph node yield may help to predict the recurrence of oesophageal cancer. However the presence of VI may not be a significant risk factor in disease recurrence.