Analysis of risk factors for post-operative complications and prognostic predictors of disease recurrence following definitive treatment of patients with esophageal cancer from two medical centers in Northwest China

Jichang Wang, Boxiang Zhang, Jinying Meng, Guodong Xiao, Xiang Li, Gang Li, Sida Qin, Ning Du, Jia Zhang, Jing Zhang, Chongwen Xu, Shou-Ching Tang, Rui Liang, Hong Ren, Xin Sun

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5 Scopus citations


Evaluating the clinicopathological features of patients receiving definitive treatment for esophageal cancer may facilitate the identification of patterns and factors associated with post-operative complications, and enable the development of a surveillance strategy for surviving patients at a higher risk of disease recurrence. In the present study, clinical data from 579 patients with esophageal cancer that underwent radical resection of esophagus were collected. These patients were admitted to two medical centers in Northwest China, and information regarding the presence or absence of basic chronic diseases and post-operative results were retrospectively analyzed. The level of selected stem cell markers, including aldehyde dehydrogenase 1, CD133, integrin subunitα 6, integrin subunit β 4 and T-cell factor-4, were determined in esophageal cancer tissue samples in order to determine whether these markers may be useful predictors of disease prognosis and recurrence. Post-operative complications in patients receiving radical resection of the esophagus included respiratory system complications, cardiovascular abnormalities and esophageal anastomotic fistulae. Diabetes, basic respiratory disease and lower pre-surgical serum albumin levels were observed to be individual risk factors associated with post-operative complications, including respiratory system complications of acute respiratory failure and pulmonary infection, cardiovascular abnormalities of atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia, as well as the development of esophageal anastomotic fistulae. Diagnosis of esophageal cancer at later stage was significantly correlated with anastomotic fistula. Molecular detection of stem cell markers for prognosis prediction was achieved by immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining assays. The results demonstrated that the presence of stem-like cells in cancer tissues was associated with poor disease prognosis and a high recurrence ratio. In conclusion, the results of the current study suggested that post-operative complications were more likely to occur in patients with diabetes, basic respiratory disease or lower serum albumin levels prior to surgery. Therefore, sufficient intensive peri-operative care, rigorous operative risk assessments, and the selection of the patients with early or mid-stage esophageal cancer, may decrease the risk of post-surgical complications in patients receiving radical resection of the esophagus. In addition, a high ratio of esophageal cancer stem-like cells was associated with cancer recurrence. These results suggest that an intensive surveillance strategy should be implemented in order to facilitate early detection of disease recurrence and improve the clinical management of these patients post-surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2584-2594
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental and Therapeutic Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Anastomotic fistula
  • Cancer stem-like cells
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Post-operative complications
  • Prognosis prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)
  • Cancer Research

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