Adjuvant chemotherapy after curative resection for gastric cancer in non-Asian patients: revisiting a meta-analysis of randomised trials

Eur J Cancer. 1999 Jul;35(7):1059-64. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(99)00076-3.


The aim of this study was to assess whether adjuvant chemotherapy after curative resection of gastric cancer increases survival rates.

Data sources: MEDLINE (1966-1999), CancerLit (1983-1999), bibliographies, personal reprint files, and review articles were searched for relevant articles. Studies had to be randomised controlled trials of adjuvant chemotherapy versus observation following curative resection of stomach cancer that took place in non-Asian countries. Two reviewers independently evaluated the trials for eligibility, quality assessment and data abstraction, 13 trials met the eligibility criteria. The odds ratio for death in the treated group was 0.80 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.66-0.97), corresponding to a relative risk of 0.94 (95% CI 0.89-1.00). Subgroup analyses showed a trend towards a larger magnitude of the effect when analysis was restricted to trials in which at least 2/3 of patients had node-positive disease. Our results suggest that adjuvant chemotherapy may produce a small survival benefit of borderline statistical significance in patients with curatively resected gastric carcinoma. Continued trials to find and confirm an effective adjuvant strategy are warranted.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery
  • Survival Rate