Gastric cancer surgery: morbidity and mortality results from a prospective randomized controlled trial comparing D2 and extended para-aortic lymphadenectomy—Japan Clinical Oncology Group study 9501

Takeshi Sano, Mitsuru Sasako, Seiichiro Yamamoto, Atsushi Nashimoto, Akira Kurita, Masahiro Hiratsuka, Toshimasa Tsujinaka, Taira Kinoshita, Kuniyoshi Arai, Yoshitaka Yamamura, Kunio Okajima
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2004 July 15, 22 (14): 2767-73

PURPOSE: Radical gastrectomy with regional lymphadenectomy is the only curative treatment option for gastric cancer. The extent of lymphadenectomy, however, is controversial. The two European randomized trials only reported an increase in operative morbidity and mortality, but failed to show survival benefit, in the D2 lymphadenectomy group. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare the Japanese standard D2 and D2 + para-aortic nodal dissection.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Only experienced surgeons in both procedures from 24 Japanese institutions participated in the study. Patients with potentially curable gastric adenocarcinoma (T2-subserosa, T3, or T4) who were surgically fit were intraoperatively randomized. Postoperative morbidity and hospital mortality were recorded prospectively in a fixed format and were compared between the two groups in this study.

RESULTS: A total of 523 patients were randomized between July 1995 and April 2001. Postoperative complications were reported in 24.5% of all patients. Although the morbidity for the extended surgery group (28.1%) was slightly higher than the standard group (20.9%), there was no difference in the incidence of four major complications (anastomotic leak, pancreatic fistula, abdominal abscess, pneumonia) between the two groups. Hospital mortality was reported at 0.80%: one patient in each group died of operative complications, while one from each group died of rapid progressive cancer while inpatient.

CONCLUSION: Specialized surgeons could safely perform gastrectomy with D2 lymphadenectomy in patients with low operative risks. Para-aortic lymphadenectomy could be added without increasing major surgical complications in this setting.

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