Background: Tumour microenvironment, including tumour-stroma ratio (TSR), might help identifying high-risk cancer patients. However, the significance of TSR in gastric cancer is unclear, especially in the intestinal and diffuse subtypes. The aim of this study was to investigate the tumour-stroma ratio in gastric adenocarcinoma, and its intestinal and diffuse histological subtypes, in relation to prognosis.
Methods: Five hundred and eighty-three gastric adenocarcinoma patients who underwent surgery in Oulu University hospital during years 1983-2016 were included in this retrospective cohort study. TSR was analysed from the slides that were originally used for diagnostic purposes. Patients were divided into stroma-poor (≤50% stroma) and stroma-rich (>50% stroma) groups and TSR was analysed in relation to 5-year mortality and overall mortality.
Results: Patients with stroma-rich tumours had worse 5-year prognosis (HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.41-2.28) compared to stroma-poor tumours. Stratified analysis showed that stroma-rich tumours had worse 5-year prognosis in both intestinal (HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.24-2.27) and diffuse histological types (HR 2.09, 95% CI 1.35-3.23) compared to stroma-poor tumours, respectively.
Conclusions: High proportion of stroma is an independent prognostic factor in both intestinal and diffuse histological subtypes of gastric adenocarcinoma.