Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in younger patients has a more malignant potential, and more aggressive activity, than in older patients, according to a study reported in the December issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
A team from Fukuoka, Japan, assessed the clinicopathologic characteristics of younger patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus.
A total of 259 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, who had been treated by esophagectomy and reconstruction within 10 years between January 1990 and December 1999, were studied.
Clinicopathologic characteristics were compared between 27 patients younger than 50 years and 232 patients 50 years and older.
The researchers observed a significant difference with regard to the size of the tumor (a mean of 6.3 cm in younger patients versus 5.0 cm in older patients).
The proportion of patients with TNM stage III or IV in younger patients (59%, 16 of 27) was significantly higher than that in older patients (38%, 89 of 232).
| Tumor size was larger in young patients.
| Annals of Thoracic Surgery |
Nevertheless, no significant difference in the 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates was observed between younger patients (77%, 55%, and 55%, respectively) and older patients (82%, 54%, and 49%, respectively).
Dr Tadahiro Nozoe, of the Kyushu University, Fukuoka, concluded on behalf of colleagues, "The prognosis of younger patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma did not differ from that of older patients.
"However, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in younger patients has more malignant potential and aggressive activity."