Published online Nov 21, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i43.12218
Peer-review started: May 15, 2015
First decision: July 14, 2015
Revised: September 1, 2015
Accepted: October 23, 2015
Article in press: October 26, 2015
Published online: November 21, 2015
Core tip: The number of evaluated lymph nodes is prognostic in stage II and III colon cancers. Understaging due to inadequate lymph node harvest causing a stage migration effect is a widely accepted explanation for this. However, there is growing evidence that understaging plays only a minor role in this context. It seems much more likely that immune response has influence on the lymph nodes’ detectability and is associated with outcome in colon cancer.