Aim: To identify the clinicopathological characteristics of lymph node-negative gastric carcinoma, and also to evaluate outcome indicators in the lymph node-negative patients.
Methods: Of 2848 gastric carcinoma patients, 1524 (53.5%) were lymph node-negative. A statistical analysis was performed using the Cox model to estimate outcome indicators.
Results: There was a significant difference in the recurrence rate between lymph node-negative and lymph node-positive patients (14.4% vs 41.0%, P<0.001). The 5-year survival rate was significantly lower in lymph node-positive than in lymph node-negative patients (31.1% vs 77.4%, P<0.001). Univariate analysis revealed that the following factors influenced the 5-year survival rate: patient age, tumor size, depth of invasion, tumor location, operative type, and tumor stage at initial diagnosis. The Cox proportional hazard regression model revealed that tumor size, serosal invasion, and curability were independent, statistically significant, prognostic indicators of lymph node-negative gastric carcinoma.
Conclusion: Lymph node-negative patients have a favorable outcome attributable to high curability, but the patients with relatively large tumors and serosal invasion have a poor prognosis. Curability is one of the most reliable predictors of long-term survival for lymph node-negative gastric carcinoma patients.