Meeting the 12 Lymph Node (LN) benchmark in colon cancer

A. Rajput*, D. Romanus, M. R. Weiser, A. Ter Veer, J. Niland, J. Wilson, J. M. Skibber, Y. N. Wong, A. Benson, C. C. Earle, D. Schrag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Examining ≥12 LN in colon cancer has been suggested as a quality metric. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the 12 LN benchmark is achieved at NCCN centers compared to a US population-based sample. Methods: Patients with stage I-III disease resected at NCCN centers were identified from a prospective database (n=718) and were compared to 12,845 stage I-III patients diagnosed in a SEER region. Age, gender, location, stage, number of positive nodes were compared for NCCN and SEER data in regards to number of nodes evaluated. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed to identify factors associated with evaluating 12 LNs. Results: 92% of NCCN and 58% of SEER patients had ≥12 LN evaluated. For patients treated at NCCN centers, factors associated with not meeting the 12 LN target were left-sided tumors, stage I disease and BMI >30. Conclusions: ≥12 LN are almost always evaluated in NCCN patients. In contrast, this target is achieved in 58% of SEER patients. With longer follow-up of the NCCN cohort we will be able to link this quality metric to patterns of recurrence and survival and thereby better understand whether increasing the number of nodes evaluated is a priority for cancer control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010


  • Colon cancer
  • Lymph nodes
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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