Background/aims: Early gastric cancer in the remnant stomach is rare. Periodical endoscopic examinations are mandatory for patients with partial gastrectomy for a good prognosis. Our goal is to improve the surgical management of gastric cancer in the remnant stomach. We have retrospectively investigated a total of 15 rare cases of early gastric cancer after partial gastrectomy.
Methodology: From 1976 to 1994, a total of 2,102 cases of gastric cancer were resected in our Department. Among these resected cases, 845 cases were histologically diagnosed as having early gastric cancer of the stomach. Of these, 15 patients had previously undergone a partial gastric resection. The time interval between the initial partial gastrectomy and the second resection of the remnant stomach, was more than 10 years for 8 patients (Group 1) and less than 10 years for 7 patients (Group 2). Here we investigate these rare cases of remnant early gastric cancer.
Results: The incidence of early gastric cancer in the remnant stomach was 1.8% (15/845). The cancer location in the remnant stomach was around the stoma and suture line in 75% of Group 1 and in 28.6% of Group 2. The incidence rate of mucosal cancer (m-cancer) was 87.5% for Group 1, and 14.3% for Group 2. Total gastrectomy was selected for 37.5% of Group 1, and for 100% of Group 2. No lymph node metastasis was discovered in both groups. The postoperative mortality was zero in both groups. One patient from Group 2, later died of liver metastasis 2 years after the second total gastrectomy, while the other 9 patients continued to live for more than 5 years with no gastric cancer recurrence to date.
Conclusions: The outcome for patients with gastric cancer in the remnant stomach is generally considered poor. However, the outcome of early gastric cancer in the remnant stomach was good without major postoperative complications. Therefore, to improve surgical management of remnant-stump gastric cancer, early diagnosis is most important, using periodic endoscopic follow-up examinations, especially around the stoma. When mucosal cancer around the stoma is diagnosed, subtotal gastrectomy can be selected even in gastrectomized patient for a good prognosis.