Time trends of clinicopathologic features and surgical treatment for gastric cancer: Results from 2 high-volume institutions in southern China

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the time-related trends of tumor characteristics and postoperative survival of patients with gastric cancer (GC) in 2 high-volume centers in high incidence areas of southern China.


Based on the meticulously collected data from 5,327 patients with GC treated with operative intervention at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center and Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, we analyzed the differences in clinicopathologic features and postoperative survival over the following 4 consecutive periods: 1991–1995 (period 1), 1996–2000 (period 2), 2001–2005 (period 3), and 2006–2010 (period 4).


Tumor size decreased (P = .001), but the proportion of poorly differentiated tumors increased (P < .001) over the study periods. Early GC was diagnosed more often in later periods, gradually increasing from 7 to 15% (P < .001). A surprising improvement was observed in the mean number of retrieved lymph nodes, ranging from 10.36 to 26.22 (P < .001). The radical resection rate increased from 88 to 93%. The overall 5-year survival rate improved steadily over the 4 periods, from 39 to 53% (P < .001). Multivariate analysis revealed that age, tumor location, histologic type, tumor size, depth of invasion, lymphatic invasion, number of retrieved lymph nodes, radical resection, and time periods were independent prognostic factors.


The clinicopathologic features of tumors changed during the observation period in our region. The increasingly early detection of patients with GC and more standardized regimens for operative management, including routinely performed D2 lymphadenectomy, most likely resulted in the increase in overall survival.

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