Abstract. The patterns of tumor spread and long-term survival of patients with (n = 54) and without (n = 270) intramural metastasis from esophageal cancer were investigated after either extended radical (n = 155) or less radical (n = 169) esophagectomy. The purpose was to evaluate whether extended radical esophagectomy has an impact on the long-term survival of patients with intramural metastases from the disease. The patients with intramural metastasis had significantly larger primary tumors (p 0.01) and more frequent T4 tumors (p 0.001), stage IV disease (p 0.05), lymphatic invasion (p 0.05), and lymph node metastasis (p 0.01) than did those without intramural metastasis. The survival rates of patients with intramural metastases were significantly worse than those of patients without intramural metastases after resection (p 0.001). No patient with intramural metastases survived more than 4 years after either extended or less radical esophagectomy, and there was no significant difference between the two survival curves. Therefore intramural metastases should be considered local indicators of advanced esophageal cancer, and radical esophagectomy may not be indicated for patients with intramural metastasis from the disease.
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