Differences in gastric cancer survival between the U.S. and China

J Surg Oncol. 2015 Jul;112(1):31-7. doi: 10.1002/jso.23940. Epub 2015 Jul 14.


Background: Previous comparisons of gastric cancer between the West and the East have focused predominantly on Japan and Korea, where early gastric cancer is prevalent, and have not included the Chinese experience, which accounts for approximately half the world's gastric cancer.

Methods: Patient characteristics, surgical procedures, pathologic information, and survival were compared among gastric cancer patients who underwent curative intent gastrectomy at two large volume cancer centers in China and the US between 1995 and 2005.

Results: Median age and body mass index were significantly higher in US patients. The proportion of proximal gastric cancer was comparable. Gastric cancer patients in China had larger tumors and a later stage at presentation. The median number of positive lymph nodes was higher (5 vs 4, P < 0.02) despite a lower lymph node retrieval (16 vs 22, P < 0.001) in Chinese patients. The probability of death due to gastric cancer in Chinese patients was 1.7 fold of that in the US (P < 0.0001) after adjusting for important prognostic factors.

Conclusions: Even after adjusting for important prognostic factors Chinese gastric cancer patients have a worse outcome than US gastric cancer patients. The differences between Chinese and US gastric cancer are a potential resource for understanding the disease.

Keywords: gastrectomy; gastric cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrectomy / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult