Background: The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the incidence of mesenteric lymph node (MLN) involvement, and its prognostic role in advanced ovarian cancer (OC). Methods: OC patients undergoing rectosigmoid resection during primary debulking surgery or interval debulking surgery were recorded. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival were calculated from the date of diagnosis to the date of relapse/progression, death of disease, or the date of last follow-up. Results: MLNs were detected in 102/148 cases (68.9 %); the rate of MLN involvement was 47.0 %. The percentage of metastatic MLNs was higher in cases with >5 MLNs removed compared with cases with ≤5 MLNs removed (62.7 % vs. 31.3 %; p = 0.0027). A progressive increase in the rate of metastatic MLNs was documented in association with depth of bowel infiltration (p = 0.026). Cases with metastatic MLNs experienced isolated celiac trunk or aortic lymph node recurrences more frequently than patients without MLN involvement (44.8 % vs. 10.7 %; p = 0.0008). PFS did not differ between cases with positive versus negative MLN involvement (2-year PFS = 31 % vs. 43 %; p = 0.58). Conclusion: OC patients undergoing rectosigmoid resection showed metastatic MLN involvement in 47.0 % of cases. Metastatic MLN status is associated with a high rate of isolated aortic and celiac trunk lymph node recurrences.
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