Lymph node metastasis (LNM) is an important factor for predicting prognosis and selecting appropriate treatment in early gastric cancers (EGCs). We investigated the histopathological and microenvironmental predictors of LNM in EGCs. We retrieved 43 cases of EGC without LNM and 59 cases with LNM. Clinicopathological variables and tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), Crohn's-like lymphoid reaction (CLR), tumour stromal percentage (TSP), and FOXA1 expression were evaluated and correlated with LNM. Among the 102 cases, 68 cases (66.7%) had low TILs and 34 cases (33.3%) had high TILs. High TILs were significantly correlated with the absence of LNM (p < 0.001), less extent of invasion (p = 0.004), absence of LVI (p = 0.035), conspicuous CLR (p < 0.001), and the absence of TSP (p = 0.009). Conspicuous CLR was observed in 47 cases (46.1%) and TSP was present in 17 cases (16.7%) and neither was correlated with LNM. High FOXA1 expression was significantly associated with presence of LNM, low TILs, and submucosal invasion. In multivariate analysis, low TILs (p = 0.023), LVI (p = 0.008), and submucosal invasion (p = 0.001) were independent predictive factors for LNM in EGCs. Evaluation of TILs in biopsied or endoscopically resected EGC specimens may help to predict LNM and select subsequent proper treatment modalities and follow-up.
- Crohn's-like lymphoid reaction
- Early gastric cancers
- lymph node metastasis
- tumour stromal percentage
- tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine