Histomorphology and grading of regression in gastric carcinoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Cancer. 2003 Oct 1;98(7):1521-30. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11660.


Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has shown some success in the treatment of gastric carcinoma, but objective parameters for measuring its effects are lacking. The authors performed the current study to determine which histomorphologic features are correlated with patient prognosis after chemotherapy.

Methods: Thirty-six patients with gastric carcinoma were treated with a combination of etoposide, doxorubicin, and cisplatin. The entire tumor beds of the specimens were evaluated histologically and compared with specimens treated with surgery alone. Thirty-four patients were available for survival analysis (follow-up period, 60-130 months).

Results: None of the 36 patients had complete tumor regression, 4 patients had marked regression (less than 10% viable tumor), 9 patients had regression to 10-50% remaining viable tumor, and 23 patients had more than 50% viable tumor remaining. Currently, 9 patients are still alive (5-year survival rate, 27%). Tumor regression was found to be correlated significantly with survival (P = 0.01), but tumor size (P = 0.002) and lymphatic vessel invasion (P = 0.003) were better predictors of prognosis.

Conclusions: Histologic tumor regression grade is an objective measure of the effects of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with gastric carcinoma, but its accuracy may be improved by adding additional staging variables such as tumor size and lymphatic vessel involvement. Cancer 2003;98:1521-30.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma / mortality
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Etoposide / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Gastrectomy / methods
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / mortality
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Etoposide
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cisplatin