ABSTRACT Background: We examined the possibility of predicting prognosis by the number of lymph node metastases. Methods: Two hundred and forty nine patients with lymph node metastases who underwent curative surgery for colon cancer were enrolled in this study. We calculated cancer-specific survival according to the number of lymph node metastases. Results: There was a tendency toward better rates of cancer-specific survivals among the patients with 1 LNM, compared with those with 2 LNM (p = 0.07). When comparing cancer-specific survival between the patients with 1, 2-3 and 4 or more lymph node metastases, cancer-specific survival was well stratified (p < 0.0001). With regard to stage classification, in the Japanese classi-fication, there was a significant difference in cancer-specific survival between Stages IIIa and IIIb (p < 0.0001). On the other hand, in the TNM classification, cancer-specific survival in Stages IIIA, IIIB and IIIC were stratified into three groups with significant differences (IIIA vs. IIIB; p = 0.007, IIIB vs. IIIC; p < 0.0001). Conclusion: It appeared to be valid to stratify cancer-specific survival into three groups, i.e., the patients with 1, 2 and 3 and 4 or more lymph node metastases. This study was in favor of the TNM classification in which N category is classified by the number of lymph node metastases.
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