Potential Applicability of Local Resection With Prophylactic Left Gastric Artery Basin Dissection for Early-Stage Gastric Cancer in the Upper Third of the Stomach

J Gastric Cancer. 2022 Jul;22(3):184-196. doi: 10.5230/jgc.2022.22.e17.


Purpose: Total or proximal gastrectomy of the upper-third early gastric cancer (u-EGC) often causes severe post-gastrectomy syndrome, suggesting that these procedures are extremely invasive for patients without pathologically positive lymph node (LN) metastasis. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical applicability of a stomach function-preserving surgery, local resection (LR), with prophylactic left gastric artery (LGA)-basin dissection (LGA-BD).

Materials and methods: The data of patients with u-EGC (pathologically diagnosed as T1) were retrospectively analyzed. Total gastrectomy was performed in 30 patients, proximal gastrectomy in 45, and subtotal gastrectomy in 6; the LN status was evaluated assuming that the patients had already underwent LR + LGA-BD. This procedure was considered feasible in patients without LN metastases or in patients with cancer in the LGA basin. The reproducibility of the results was also evaluated using an external validation dataset.

Results: Of the 82 eligible patients, 79 (96.3%) were cured after undergoing LR + LGA-BD, 74 (90.2%) were pathologically negative for LN metastases, and 5 (6.1%) had LN metastases, but these findings were only observed in the LGA basin. Similarly, of the 406 eligible tumors in the validation dataset, 396 (97.5%) were potentially curative. Tumors in the lesser curvature, post-endoscopic resection status, and small tumors (<20 mm) were considered to be stronger indicators of LR + LGA-BD as all subpopulation cases met our feasibility criteria.

Conclusions: More than 95% of the patients with u-EGC might be eligible for LR + LGA-BD. This function-preserving procedure may contribute to the development of u-EGC without pathological LN metastases, especially for tumors located at the lesser curvature.

Keywords: Gastrectomy; Gastric cancer; Lymph node dissection; Minimally invasive surgical procedures.