J Gastric Cancer.  2017 Dec;17(4):306-318. 10.5230/jgc.2017.17.e35.

Greater Lymph Node Retrieval Improves Survival in Node-Negative Resected Gastric Cancer in the United States

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, The Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA. joyce.wong02@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Public Health Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE
Guidelines in western countries recommend retrieving ≥15 lymph nodes (LNs) during gastric cancer resection. This study sought to determine whether the number of examined lymph nodes (eLNs), a proxy for lymphadenectomy, effects survival in node-negative disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The US National Cancer Database (2003-2011) was reviewed for node-negative gastric adenocarcinoma. Treatment was categorized by neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) vs. initial resection, and further stratified by eLN. Kaplan-Meier and Weibull models were used to analyze overall survival.
RESULTS
Of the 1,036 patients who received NAT, 40.5% had ≤10 eLN, and most underwent proximal gastrectomy (67.8%). In multivariate analysis, greater eLN was associated with improved survival (eLN 16-20: HR, 0.71; P=0.039, eLN 21-30: HR, 0.55; P=0.001). Of the 2,795 patients who underwent initial surgery, 42.5% had ≤10 eLN, and the majority underwent proximal gastrectomy (57.2%). In multivariate analysis, greater eLN was associated with improved survival (eLN 11-15: HR, 0.81; P=0.021, eLN 16-20: HR, 0.73; P=0.004, eLN 21-30: HR, 0.62; P<0.001, and eLN >30: HR, 0.58; P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS
In the United States, the majority of node-negative gastrectomies include suboptimal eLN. In node-negative gastric cancer, greater LN retrieval appears to have therapeutic and prognostic value, irrespective of initial treatment, suggesting a survival benefit to meticulous lymphadenectomy.

Keyword

Stomach neoplasms; Lymph node excision; Gastric cancer; Survival

MeSH Terms

Adenocarcinoma
Gastrectomy
Humans
Lymph Node Excision
Lymph Nodes*
Multivariate Analysis
Neoadjuvant Therapy
Proxy
Stomach Neoplasms*
United States*

Figure

  • Fig. 1 Trends in median number of LN examined from 2003 to 2011. LN = lymph node; eLN = examined lymph node.

  • Fig. 2 Distribution of eLNs in NAT cohort. eLN = examined lymph node; NAT = neoadjuvant therapy.

  • Fig. 3 Survival by eLNs in NAT cohort. eLN = examined lymph node; NAT = neoadjuvant therapy.

  • Fig. 4 Distribution of eLNs in initial surgery cohort. eLN = examined lymph node.

  • Fig. 5 Survival by eLNs in initial surgery cohort. eLN = examined lymph node.


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