Background: The impact of patient- and tumor-dependent factors and the postoperative course on the prognosis of patients who underwent resection for gastric carcinoma between 1986 and 1989 were analyzed in a prospective multicenter observation study.
Methods: Resection techniques, the extent of lymph node dissection, and the histopathologic assessment of the specimen were standardized at all participating centers. A total of 1654 patients were enrolled. Follow-up is complete for 99.2% of the patients, with a median follow-up time of 48 months. Prognostic factors were assessed by multivariate analysis.
Results: In the total patient population there was an independent prognostic effect of nodal status, a International Union Against Cancer (UICC)-R0 resection, distant metastases, the pT category, three or more risk factors on preoperative risk analysis, and the presence of postoperative complications. Multivariate analysis in the subgroup of patients who had a UICC-R0 resection confirmed the nodal status as the major independent prognostic factor.
Conclusion: These data suggest that the prognosis of patients who undergo gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma may be improved by a complete resection of the primary tumor and its lymphatic drainage, resulting in a UICC-R0 resection. In addition, a detailed preoperative risk analysis and identification of high-risk patients and meticulous attention to the technical details of the surgical procedure to reduce the frequency of postoperative complications may improve the prognosis.