J Cancer 2020; 11(24):7339-7347. doi:10.7150/jca.48085

Research Paper

Comparison of different lymph node staging systems in patients with node-positive cervical squamous cell carcinoma following radical surgery

Qinhao Guo1,2#, Jun Zhu1,2#, Yong Wu1,2#, Hao Wen1,2, Lingfang Xia1,2, Min Yu1,2, Simin Wang1,2, Xingzhu Ju1,2✉, Xiaohua Wu1,2✉

1. Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, 130 Dong-An Road, Shanghai 200032, China.
2. Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, 270 Dong-An Road, Shanghai 200032, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Guo Q, Zhu J, Wu Y, Wen H, Xia L, Yu M, Wang S, Ju X, Wu X. Comparison of different lymph node staging systems in patients with node-positive cervical squamous cell carcinoma following radical surgery. J Cancer 2020; 11(24):7339-7347. doi:10.7150/jca.48085. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v11p7339.htm

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Abstract

Objective: We compared the prognostic accuracy of four lymph node (LN) staging systems - the 2018 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage, number of positive lymph node (PLN), metastatic lymph node ratio (LNR), and log odds of positive lymph nodes (LODDS) systems - in patients with node-positive cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) following radical surgery and explored the optimal choice for clinical applications.

Materials and methods: Data were retrospectively collected from 928 node-positive CSCC patients who underwent radical surgery between 2006 and 2014 in our center. Tree-based recursive partitioning was applied to split variables (PLN, LNR, and LODDS) into low-risk and high-risk groups. The log-rank test was used to compare survival curves, and Cox regression analysis was performed to identify prognostic factors. The relative discriminative abilities of the different staging systems were assessed using Harrell's concordance index (C index) and the Akaike information criterion (AIC).

Results: The mean number of PLNs was 3.8 (range: 1-44 nodes). According to the 2018 FIGO staging system, 831 patients had stage IIIC1, and 97 had stage IIIC2. For the PLN system, 761 patients were included in the low-risk group, and 167 were included in the high-risk group. For the LNR system, 658 patients were included in the low-risk group, and 270 were included in the high-risk group. The low-risk LODDS group included 694 patients, while the high-risk LODDS group included 234 patients. All four staging systems had a significant influence on patients' progression-free survival (PFS, P < 0.001) and overall survival (OS, P < 0.001). Univariate analysis and multivariate Cox analysis adjusted for significant factors indicated that the four staging systems were significant prognostic factors for PFS and OS. Among them, the PLN system was noted to have the best prognostic performance for both PFS (C index: 0.582; AIC: 8213.33) and OS (C index: 0.624; AIC: 8433.80).

Conclusion: The PLN system seemed to be the most accurate LN staging method for predicting node-positive CSCC following radical surgery.

Keywords: Akaike information criterion, CSCC, C index, LN staging systems, node-positive, prognostic value