Association of Adjuvant Chemotherapy With Survival in Patients With Stage II or III Gastric Cancer

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The current staging system of gastric cancer is not adequate for defining a prognosis and predicting the patients most likely to benefit from chemotherapy.


To construct a survival prediction model based on specific tumor and patient characteristics that enables individualized predictions of the net survival benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with stage II or stage III gastric cancer.

Design, Setting, and Participants

In this multicenter retrospective analysis, a survival prediction model was constructed using data from a training cohort of 746 patients with stage II or stage III gastric cancer who satisfied the study’s inclusion criteria and underwent surgery between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2012, at Nanfang Hospital in Guangzhou, China. Patient and tumor characteristics were included as covariates, and their association with overall survival and disease-free survival with and without adjuvant chemotherapy was assessed. The model was internally validated for discrimination and calibration using bootstrap resampling. To externally validate the model, data were included from a validation cohort of 973 patients with stage II or stage III gastric cancer who met the inclusion criteria and underwent surgery at First Affiliated Hospital in Guangzhou, China, and at West China Hospital of Sichuan Hospital in Chendu, China, between January 1, 2000, and June 30, 2009. Data were analyzed from July 10, 2016, to September 1, 2016.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Concordance index and decision curve analysis for each measure associated with postoperative overall survival and disease-free survival.


Of the 1719 patients analyzed, 1183 (68.8%) were men and 536 (31.2%) were women and the median (interquartile range) age was 57 (49-66) years. Age, location, differentiation, carcinoembryonic antigen, cancer antigen 19-9, depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis, and adjuvant chemotherapy were significantly associated with overall survival and disease-free survival, with P < .05. The survival prediction model demonstrated good calibration and discrimination, with relatively high bootstrap-corrected concordance indexes in the training and validation cohorts. In the validation cohort, the concordance index for overall survival was 0.693 (95% CI, 0.671-0.715) and for disease-free survival was 0.704 (95% CI, 0.681-0.728). Two nomograms and a calculating tool were built on the basis of specific input variables to estimate an individual’s net survival gain attributable to adjuvant chemotherapy.

Conclusions and Relevance

The survival prediction model can be used to make individualized predictions of the expected survival benefit from the addition of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with stage II or stage III gastric cancer.

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