Objectives: Esophagogastric junction carcinoma incidence is increasing worldwide. However, surgical strategies for this cancer remain controversial. This study aimed to clarify the optimal surgical strategy for esophagogastric junction carcinoma. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed a database of 68 consecutive patients with esophagogastric junction carcinoma [Japanese classification of gastric carcinoma (Nishi’s definition): adenocarcinoma, N = 53; squamous cell carcinoma, N = 15] who underwent curative surgical resection at Keio University Hospital between January 2000 and September 2008. Results: In both adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, most lymph node metastases were located in the lesser curvature area. Mediastinal lymph node metastasis was observed in 4 patients (7.5 %) with adenocarcinoma and 7 patients (46.7 %) with squamous cell carcinoma. No patient presented with lymph node metastases in the pyloric region. The therapeutic value of extended lymph node dissection was 0, except for lymph node station numbers 1, 2, 3, 4sa, 7, and 110. Extended lymph node dissection in the lesser curvature area showed a high therapeutic value. The para-aortic lymph node was the most frequent nodal recurrence site. All patients with tumor centers located below the esophagogastric junction (N = 37) did not develop mediastinal lymph node metastasis or recurrence. Conclusions: Proximal gastrectomy through a transhiatal approach may be the optimal surgical strategy for esophagogastric carcinoma. Mediastinal lymph node dissection through a thoracic approach seems unnecessary, particularly when the tumor center is located below the esophagogastric junction. To confirm the necessity of para-aortic nodal dissection, further studies are required.
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