Cytoreductive Surgery for Selected Patients Whose Metastatic Gastric Cancer was Treated with Systemic Chemotherapy

Ann Surg Oncol. 2021 Aug;28(8):4433-4443. doi: 10.1245/s10434-020-09475-6. Epub 2021 Jan 8.


Background: The authors hypothesized that cytoreductive surgery (CRS, comprising gastrectomy combined with metastasectomy) in addition to systemic chemotherapy (SC) is associated with a better survival than chemotherapy alone for patients with metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma (MGA).

Methods: Patients with MGA who received SC between 2004 and 2016 were identified using the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Nearest-neighbor 1:1 propensity score-matching was used to create comparable groups. Overall survival (OS) was compared between subgroups using Kaplan-Meier analyses. Immortal bias analysis was performed among those who survived longer than 90 days.

Results: The study identified 29,728 chemotherapy-treated patients, who were divided into the following four subgroups: no surgery (NS, n = 25,690), metastasectomy alone (n = 1170), gastrectomy alone (n = 2248), and CRS (n = 620) with median OS periods of 8.6, 10.9, 14.8, and 16.3 months, respectively (p < 0.001). Compared with the patients who underwent NS, the patients who had CRS were younger (58.9 ± 13.4 vs 62.0 ± 13.1 years), had a lower proportion of disease involving multiple sites (4.6% vs 19.1%), and were more likely to be clinically occult (cM0 stage: 59.2% vs 8.3%) (p < 0.001 for all). The median OS for the propensity-matched patients who underwent CRS (n = 615) was longer than for those with NS (16.4 vs 9.3 months; p < 0.001), including in those with clinical M1 stage (n = 210). In the Cox regression model using the matched data, the hazard ratio for CRS versus NS was 0.56 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49-0.63). In the immortal-matched cohort, the corresponding median OS was 17.0 versus 9.5 months (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In addition to SC, CRS may be associated with an OS benefit for a selected group of MGA patients meriting further prospective investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma* / surgery
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures
  • Gastrectomy
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / surgery