Outcomes of Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy After a Radical Gastrectomy and a D2 Node Dissection for Gastric Adenocarcinoma

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Intergroup 0116 (INT-0116) established adjuvant chemoradiation as the standard of care for resected high-risk adenocarcinoma of the stomach in the United States. However, adjuvant chemoradiation remains controversial in many parts of Asia and Europe, where patients tend to undergo a more thorough D2 dissection. In INT-0116, 90% of patients had a limited or inadequate node dissection (D0 or D1). Also, 17% of patients in the chemoradiation arm had to discontinue treatment because of toxicities. The objectives of this retrospective study are to report the clinical outcomes of a cohort of patients who were mostly treated with a D2 node dissection and received adjuvant chemoradiation as per INT-0116, and the toxicities of chemoradiation in the context of more aggressive surgery.


After the results of INT-0116 became apparent, we adopted an institutional policy whereby patients who would otherwise fit the inclusion criteria of INT-0116 received adjuvant chemoradiation. Between March 1999 and November 2004, 70 consecutive patients with pathologic stage T3, T4, or node-positive disease were treated according to the chemoradiation arm of INT-0116. Patients received intravenous 5-fluorouracil 425 mg/m2 and leucovorin 20 mg/m2 in cycles 1, 3, and 4. Concurrent chemoradiation was given in cycle 2 and consisted of bolus 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin and radiotherapy (45 Gy over 25 fractions in 5 weeks). All patients were operated on by dedicated Japan-trained Surgical Oncologists.


Sixty-seven patients (96%) had a D2 nodal dissection. Sixty-five patients (93%) had negative pathologic margins (R0 resection) and 5 (7%) had microscopically involved margins (R1 resection). The median follow-up was 27 months (range, 10.1–60.3). The 3-year overall survival, disease-free survival, and local control were 60.6%, 54.1%, and 84.3%, respectively. Of the 30 patients who relapsed, 5 (17%) had isolated locoregional recurrences only. The National Cancer Institute – Common Terminology Criteria version 3.0 acute grade 3 or 4 gastrointestinal and hematological toxicity rates were 15.7% and 4.3%, respectively. Toxicities led to chemotherapy dose-reductions in 18 patients and dose-delay in 19 patients. Including chemotherapy dose-reductions and delays, 66 patients (94%) completed the entire chemoradiation regimen. There were no toxicity-related deaths.


In our cohort of 70 patients who had a more thorough D2 node dissection, adjuvant chemoradiation was well tolerated with acceptable toxicities and reasonable tumor control.

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