This study identified predictors of favorable overall survival (OS) for stage III colon cancer patients who had only one lymph node (LN) metastasis (N1a).
Variables, including preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level, LN sampling status, and the choices of postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy, were recorded. Prognostic significance was determined using the log-rank test and multivariate Cox regression analysis.
The median 42-month follow-up period included 363 eligible patients. Among them, 230 (63.3%) received only 5-flurouracil (5-FU) adjuvant chemotherapy; 76 (20.9%) underwent oxaliplatin-based regimens; and 57 (15.7%) chose surgery alone. The 5-year survival rate of these evaluated patients was 75%, 63%, and 77%, respectively (P = 0.823). Multivariate analysis revealed that normal preoperative CEA level (≦5 ng/mL) and adequate LN sampling (LN ≧ 12) were significant predictors for higher 5-year OS (P < 0.001; P = 0.007, respectively). However, the use of postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy in these N1a colon cancer patients did not significantly affect their 5-year OS.