Background: The incidence of lymph node metastasis (LNM) in colorectal cancer is known to be 2–6%, but little data are available regarding metachronous metastasis confined to isolated LN. The aim of this study is to determine the distribution of isolated LNM and the risk factors for survival of isolated LNM in colorectal cancer. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed consecutive patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma between January 2008 and December 2015 at a tertiary referral center. A total of 5902 patients with biopsy-proven colorectal adenocarcinoma treated via surgery were included. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to identify prognostic factors for overall survival. Results: Of the 5902 patients, recurrent cases were 1326. Among the relapsed patients, 301 patients had isolated LNM (22.69%). Para-aortic (48.8%), pelvic (29.9%), and Lung hilum (10.0%) were the most common sites of isolated LNM; there were statistically significant differences in the distribution of isolated LNM between the colon and rectal cancer (p = 0.02). Approximately 80% of isolated LNM were diagnosed within 3 years. Multidisciplinary therapy for LNM, diagnosis time to LNM, the T-stage, and histological type of primary cancer were identified as independent prognostic factors for overall survival. Conclusion: This study suggests that multidisciplinary management is a potentially effective treatment strategy for isolated LNM. Since time to LNM, the T-stage, and histological type are prognostic factors, an active follow-up program for colorectal cancer is required.
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