Background: Body-weight loss has been reported as a poor prognostic factor for some malignancies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of postoperative body-weight loss in patients with gastric cancer.
Methods: In 564 patients who underwent curative resection for gastric cancer, usual body-weight, body-weight at the time of resection and that 6 and 12 months after resection were recorded prospectively.
Results: The 5-year survival rate of patients who lost more than 5 per cent of their 6-month postoperative weight by 12 months after resection was 63 per cent while that of patients who maintained 95 per cent or more of their 6-month postoperative weight was 84 per cent (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that serosal invasion, nodal metastasis, body-weight loss during the second 6-month interval after resection and extent of gastric resection were independent prognostic indicators.
Conclusion: When a patient loses body-weight during the second 6-month interval after curative resection for gastric cancer, recurrent disease should be suspected.