Ann Surg Treat Res.  2020 Nov;99(5):305-313. 10.4174/astr.2020.99.5.305.

Chronologic trends of cancer-related lymph node research in PubMed: informetrics analysis

  • 1Department of Library and Information Science, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
  • 2Graduate School of Archives and Records Management, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
  • 3Department of Preventive and Public Health Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea
  • 4Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, BK21 Program, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
  • 5Department of English Language and Literature, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
  • 6Department of Statistics, Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
  • 7Department of Surgery, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea
  • 8Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Jeonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea
  • 9Institute of Medical Information Convergence Research in JBNU, Jeonju, Korea


Given the long history of investigation into cancer and its relevance to the lymph node (LN), it would be meaningful to plot the trends of research on cancer-related LN.
Queries such as “cancer,” “lymph node,” and “cancer and lymph node” were submitted to PubMed to collect articles on cancer and LN published between 1945 and 2017. The collected articles were then extracted by an automatic web crawler and examined through informetrics and linguistic analysis.
The number of articles related to cancer was 2,795,476 and 127,897 articles (4.6%) were found to be relevant to LN. With regard to cancer types, breast cancer was the most studied (37%), followed by gastric cancer (17%). With regard to the subjects in which the surgeon is interested, LN metastasis (57%) was found to be the topic most discussed, followed by LN dissection (22%) and sentinel LN (17%). Publications on LN metastasis gradually increased over time from 1988 to 2017 although those on sentinel LN and LN dissection have stagnated since the early 2000s.
Although research on cancer was abundant, only a small portion was dedicated to investigating its relevance to LN. Western countries had led the research on cancer-related LN, but Asian countries began to participate as major players, expanding their contributions. While LN metastasis, one of the major cancer-related LN topics, showed a steady increase, those involved in oncologic surgery such as LN dissection and sentinel LN did not.


Informetrics; Lymph nodes; Neoplasms
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