Purpose: We sought to compare the presentation, management, and outcomes in gastric adenocarcinoma cancer for pediatric and adult patients.
Methods: Using the 2004 to 2014 National Cancer Database (NCDB), patients ≤21 years (pediatric) were retrospectively compared to >21 years (adult). Chi-squared tests were used to compare categorical variables, and Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for survival differences.
Results: Of the 129,024 gastric adenocarcinoma cases identified, 129 (0.10%) occurred in pediatric patients. Pediatric cases presented with more advanced disease, including poorly differentiated tumors (81% vs 65%, p = 0.006) and stage 4 disease (56% vs 41%, p = 0.002). Signet ring adenocarcinoma comprised 45% of cases in the pediatric group as compared to 20% of cases in the adults (P < 0.001). Similar proportions in both groups underwent surgery. However, near-total gastrectomy was more common in the pediatric group (16% vs 6%, p < 0.001). The proportions of patients with negative margins, nodal examination, and presence of positive nodes were similar. There was no overall survival difference between the two age groups (HR 0.92, 95% Confidence interval 0.73-1.15).
Conclusion: While gastric adenocarcinoma in pediatric patients present with a more advanced stage and poorly differentiated tumors compared to adults, survival appears to be comparable.
Type of study: Retrospective cohort study.
Level of evidence: III.
Keywords: Pediatric gastric adenocarcinoma; Pediatric gastric cancer; Signet ring gastric cancer.
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