Do patients with pN0 gastric cancer benefit from prophylactic extended lymphadenectomy?

Dengqun Sun, Renhua Gong, Haorong Wu
Surgical Oncology 2012, 21 (1): e7-11

PURPOSE: To investigate the impact of prophylactic extended lymphadenectomy on survival for patients with node-negative (pN0) advanced gastric cancer according to the extent of lymph node dissection.

METHODS: This study retrospectively investigated the clinicopathological characteristics and prognostic outcomes of 458 patients who had pN0 advanced gastric cancer between 1995 and 2001. Postoperative survival was compared in patients who underwent different extents of prophylactic lymphadenectomy.

RESULTS: The overall 5-year and 10-year survival rates were 62.01% (284/458) and 40.83% (187/458), respectively. The survival rates differed significantly in patients who underwent a different extent of prophylactic lymphadenectomy (≤D1+ versus D2 versus D3 versus ≥D3) (X(2) = 8.59, P = 0.035). Survival in patients who received less than D1+ dissection, however, were not significantly better than patients who received D2 dissection (X(2) = 0.907, P = 0.341). Survival in patients who received D2 dissection was significantly better than survival in patients who received D3 dissection (X(2) = 5.685, P = 0.017). No differences in postoperative survival rates were observed between patients who received D3 dissection and those received more than D3 dissection (X(2) = 2.468, P = 0.116). Patients who were older than 60 years and receive more than D2 dissection experienced significantly worse postoperative survival than those who received less than D2 dissection (X(2) = 14.885, P = 0.001). The extent of prophylactic lymphadenectomy did not significantly affect local tumor recurrence in patients with node-negative advanced gastric cancer (X(2) = 0.458, P = 0.928).

CONCLUSIONS: D2 prophylactic lymphadenectomy is appropriate for pN0 patients who were less than 60 years old, and less than D2 dissection was suitable for the older cases.

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