Background: The prognosis for surgically treated gastric cancer remains poor in most Western countries compared with reports from Japanese investigators during the past 3 decades.
Methods: A radical surgical procedure principally to extended lymphadenectomy as defined by the Japanese Research Society for Gastric Cancer was performed prospectively from January 1984 to June 30, 1994 for 512 patients with gastric cancer, 345 of whom were treated with potentially curative surgery. Clinical, histopathologic, and surgical factors were examined for their influence on long term survival by univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: Five- and 10-year survival rates for all patients were 40.5% and 34.3%, respectively, and for patients who underwent tumor resection were 45.7% and 38.6%, respectively. For patients who underwent curative surgery, 5- and 10-year adjusted survival rates were 57.7% and 44.3%, respectively, with a median survival of 96 months. Postoperative hospital mortality was 6.8%:4.9% for R-0 resected patients, 9% for R-1 and R-2 resected patients, and 13.4% for those with palliative procedures. Multivariate analysis using the Cox model identified age older than 65 years, prior total gastrectomy, an increasing number of positive lymph nodes, a high pathologic N classification, male sex, a high pT classification, and low preoperative hemoglobin level as detrimental factors with an independent influence on survival.
Conclusion: Radical lymphadenectomy in this 10-year Austrian study yielded survival rates similar to those in Japanese investigations without sacrificing low postoperative mortality. In particular, the relatively high overall survival rates seemed to reaffirm the value of radical lymph node dissection with wide resection margins.