Subtotal gastrectomy combined with chemotherapy: An effective therapy for patients with circumscribed Borrmann type IV gastric cancer

World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2020 Nov 15;12(11):1325-1335. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v12.i11.1325.


Background: Although Borrmann type IV (B-4) gastric cancer has a higher mortality rate and presents distant metastasis easily, especially peritoneal metastasis, when diagnosed, some B-4 patients were found to have no distant metastasis by preoperative detection and underwent curative surgery, which was defined as circumscribed B-4 in our study. In this study, we focused on the circumscribed B-4 patients without distant metastasis during surgery to identify factors related to prognosis and postoperative peritoneal cavity metastasis (PPCM), which is important for selecting an appropriate therapeutic strategy.

Aim: To identify factors related to the prognosis and PPCM of B-4 patients.

Methods: A total of 117 B-4 patients who underwent gastrectomy between January 2005 and December 2012 were included in this study. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox multivariate models. Pearson correlation analyses were performed to identify the factors related to PPCM. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 20.0.

Results: Lymph node status, gastrectomy type, and postoperative chemotherapy were independent prognostic factors in 117 circumscribed B-4 patients. Subtotal gastrectomy combined with chemotherapy could significantly improve the long-term survival time. Six patients who were diagnosed with pN0 and received the combination therapy had a 3-year survival rate of 100% and a median survival of 77.7 mo. Even for patients with metastatic lymph nodes (n = 13), the combination therapy also increased the 3-year overall survival rate to 57.1%. In addition, positive lymph node status was the only factor (P = 0.005) correlated with PPCM in certain B-4 patients, and chemotherapy was useful for suppressing PPCM in patients with subtotal gastrectomy but not in those with total gastrectomy.

Conclusion: Lymph node status is an independent prognostic factor for circumscribed B-4 patients. In addition, subtotal gastrectomy and postoperative chemotherapy could effectively improve prognosis and even suppress PPCM.

Keywords: Borrmann type IV; Chemotherapy; Circumscribed; Gastric cancer; Prognosis; Subtotal gastrectomy.