What are the prognostic features of gastric cancer?

Updated: Feb 23, 2021
  • Author: Elwyn C Cabebe, MD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Two important factors influencing survival in resectable gastric cancer are depth of cancer invasion through the gastric wall and presence or absence of regional lymph node involvement.

In about 5% of primary gastric cancers, a broad region of the gastric wall or even the entire stomach is extensively infiltrated by malignancy, resulting in a rigid thickened stomach, termed linitis plastica. Patients with linitis plastica have an extremely poor prognosis. [31]

Margins positive for presence of cancer are associated with a very poor prognosis.

The greater the number of involved lymph nodes, the more likely the patient is to develop local and systemic failure after surgery.

In a study by Shen and colleagues, [32] the depth of tumor invasion and gross appearance, size, and location of the tumor were 4 pathologic factors independently correlated with the number of metastatic lymph nodes associated with gastric cancer.

Lee and colleagues found that surgical stage, as estimated during curative resection for gastric cancer, complemented the pathologically determined stage for determining prognosis. Survival was significantly poorer among patients with pathologic Stages II, IIIa, and IIIb disease in whom intraoperative staging overestimated the extent of pathological stage. [33]

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