Treatment at an Academic Cancer Center Confers Better Survival by Stage for Signet-Ring Cell and Non-signet-Ring Cell Gastric Cancer

Ann Surg Oncol. 2021 Aug;28(8):4423-4432. doi: 10.1245/s10434-020-09424-3. Epub 2021 Jan 3.


Background: The literature lacks large-scale population studies comparing survival outcomes between signet-ring cell gastric carcinoma (SRGC) and non-SRGC (NSRGC) when treatment is delivered at academic versus community cancer centers.

Methods: The National Cancer Database (NCDB) from 2004 to 2016 was queried to examine the association between treatment facility category and overall survival of patients who underwent gastrectomy for resectable gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC).

Results: The study investigated 22,871 patients. Upstaging of resectable GAC to pathologic stage 4 was more evident at community centers (3.5%) than at academic centers (2.8%) for the NSRGC variant (p = 0.211), whereas it was comparable between the two facility categories for the SRGC variant (5.9% vs 6%, respectively). Patients with pathologic stage 1 or 3 NSRGC who underwent gastrectomy at academic programs had better overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio [HR], 0.68; p < 0.0001) than those who underwent gastrectomy at community centers (HR, 0.79; p < 0.0065). Similarly, patients with stage 2 SRGC had better OS when treated at academic versus community centers (HR, 0.54; p = 0.0019). No statistically significant improvement in OS was observed between patients with stage 2 NSRGC (HR, 0.84; p = 0.083) and those with stage 3 SRGC (HR, 0.78; p = 0.054) who were treated at academic centers. No survival benefit was demonstrated for stage 1 SRGC when academic and community centers were compared (p = 0.56).

Conclusions: This is the first study based on a large-scale database in the Western population that addressed the overall survival-by-stage of two distinct GAC histologic variants. Treatment at academic centers was associated with significant improvements in OS.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma* / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Signet Ring Cell* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Signet Ring Cell* / surgery
  • Gastrectomy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / surgery