Optimal extent of central lymphadenectomy for right-sided colon cancers: is lymphadenectomy beyond the superior mesenteric vein meaningful?



The objective of the current study was to assess the therapeutic benefit of lymphadenectomy according to the extent of lymphadenectomy.


Patients undergoing colectomy for right‐sided colon cancer were identified. Distribution of lymph node metastases (DLNM) of 1, 2 and 3 were defined as lymph node metastasis (LNM) in the pericolic nodes, the intermediate nodes and the front of the SMV near the origin of the major artery, respectively. The therapeutic index (TI) was calculated based on the frequency of LNM and the 5 year overall survival (OS) rate of patients with LNM.


Among 344 patients who met the inclusion criteria, roughly half had LNM (n = 150, 43.7%). While 107 (31.1%) and 30 (8.7%) patients had DLNM1 and DLNM2, respectively, only 13 patients (3.8%) were defined as DLNM3. However, there was no significant difference in 5 year OS by DLNM (DLNM1 71.1%, DLNM2 78.7%, DLNM3 50.4%, p = 0.61). Overall, the TI of lymphadenectomy for D3 area was approximately 1/10 of the TI for D1 (1.9 vs.22.1), given the low frequency of LNM (3.8%) and poor 5 year OS of patients with LNM (50.4%). This trend was consistent irrespective of primary tumor locations.


The survival benefit from central lymphadenectomy namely D3 was low among patients with right‐sided colon cancers.

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Correspondence to Jun Watanabe.

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Sahara, K., Watanabe, J., Ishibe, A. et al. Optimal extent of central lymphadenectomy for right-sided colon cancers: is lymphadenectomy beyond the superior mesenteric vein meaningful?. Surg Today 51, 268–275 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00595-020-02084-6

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  • Complete mesocolic excision
  • Central vascular ligation
  • Therapeutic index
  • Colon cancer
  • Survival