Significance of involvement by squamous cell carcinoma of the ducts of esophageal submucosal glands: Analysis of 201 surgically resected superficial squamous cell carcinomas

Yusuke Tajima, Yukihiro Nakanishi, Yuji Tachimori, Hoichi Kato, Hiroshi Watanabe, Hajime Yamaguchi, Kimio Yoshimura, Mitsuo Kusano, Tadakazu Shimoda

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BACKGROUND. Ductal involvement (DI) is often observed in superficial squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus (SSCCE), defined as carcinoma with invasion limited to the submucosa. The purpose of this study was to clarify the clinicopathologic significance of DI in SSCCE. METHODS. Two hundred one surgically resected lesions from 140 patients with SSCCE were examined histopathologically. Clinicopathologic factors, such as macroscopic type, tumor location, maximum tumor size, depth of invasion, lymphatic and blood vessel permeation, lymph node metastasis, and prognosis, were examined to investigate the association between these factors and the presence of DI. RESULTS. Of the 201 SSCCE lesions, 43 (21.3%) had 152 DIs (1-32 DIs per lesion). The DI always remained in situ, and there were no tumors showing submucosal invasion through the DI. As for the relation between clinicopathologic factors and the presence of DI, multivariate analysis showed only maximum tumor size to correlate with the presence of DI (P < 0.0001). There were no significant differences between DI negative and DI positive lesions in tumor location, macroscopic type, lymphatic and blood vessel permeation, lymph node metastasis, or prognosis. In 83 mucosal carcinomas, including in situ carcinomas or carcinomas that invaded no deeper than the lamina muscularis mucosa, no lymph node metastasis was found, and the 5-year survival rate was 100% (unaffected by the presence of DI). Among these 83 lesions, DI was found in 11 (13.13%), of which 6 (7.2%) had DI extending to the submucosal layer. CONCLUSIONS. These results indicate that DI as a pathway of tumor spread to the deeper layer is of little significance in squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus, and that mucosal carcinomas with DI that extends to the submucosa should not be classified as submucosal carcinoma. (C) 2000 American Cancer Society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jul 15
Externally publishedYes



  • Ductal involvement
  • Glandular involvement
  • Multivariate analysis
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Superficial esophageal carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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