Gastric cancer in the pediatric population, a multicenter cross-sectional analysis of presentation and coexisting comorbidities

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2023 Mar;149(3):1261-1272. doi: 10.1007/s00432-022-03972-9. Epub 2022 Apr 18.


Objectives: Solid tumors of the stomach in children are rare, adenocarcinoma being most frequently reported. Risk factors and clinical presentation are poorly understood. We undertook a nationwide database analysis to evaluate pediatric CA stomach presentation, comorbidities, and metastatic pattern.

Methods: The Cerner Health Facts Database® (CHFD) was queried for pediatric age range (1-21) patients, 2010-2017 inclusive. The pediatric gastric cancer cohort was defined by ICD9 and ICD 10 CM diagnoses attributable to primary (non-GIST, non-hematologic) solid tumors of the stomach limited to diagnosis priority < 5 and validated by filtering for supportive diagnoses. Demographic characteristics, comorbidities, before and throughout the medical record were analyzed and compared to the base population.

Results: The cohort included 333 patients from a base population of 9.6 million children. The M:F ratio was 1.15:1, mean age at diagnosis was 11.8 years. Stomach cancer was most prevalent in non-Hispanic whites, less in Asians and African Americans. Symptoms included abdominal pain, vomiting, anemia, diarrhea and weight loss. Reflux symptoms, esophagitis, gastritis, including H. pylori and duodenitis were reported in 10.2%. Obesity, obesity-related comorbidities, tobacco exposure and family history of colonic polyps, gastrointestinal and breast cancer were all more prevalent (P < 0.0001) in the cohort.

Discussion: We defined patient demographic characteristics, anatomic distribution in a large cohort of children with solid tumors of the stomach. Reported symptoms in our cohort are similar to those observed in adults. Associated comorbidities which may reflect risk factors include obesity, tobacco exposure and family history of intestinal polyps and malignancy.

Keywords: Child; Data management; International classification of diseases; Risk factors; Stomach neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Obesity
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms*