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The factors affecting long-term survival following oesophagectomy for oesophageal cancer are poorly understood. We examined the significance of microscopic tumour involvement at the circumferential resection margin (CRM) on postoperative survival following oesophagectomy. The case notes of 329 patients who underwent a potentially curative oesophagectomy for squamous or adenocarcinoma were reviewed retrospectively. As part of the procedure, all patients underwent an en-bloc resection of their periesophageal tissue. The presence of tumour either at, or within, 1 mm of the CRM was recorded and correlated with their TNM and survival data. A total of 67 patients (20%) were noted to have a positive CRM, of which 40 cases (12%) had tumour at the resection margin and the remainder had tumour within 1 mm of the margin. Univariate analysis showed no statistically significant association between survival and either category of CRM involvement. Multivariate analysis showed that only T-stage, nodal status and tumour grade were prognostic markers. In conclusion, the presence of microscopic tumour at the CRM following an en-bloc oesophagectomy is not a significant prognostic marker.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1549 - 1552


Adenocarcinoma, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Esophageal Neoplasms, Esophagectomy, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Neoplasm, Residual, Prognosis, Retrospective Studies, Survival, Treatment Outcome