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Survival Rates for Patients with Resected Gastric Adenocarcinoma Finally have Increased in the United States

Elliot G. Arsoniadis MD, Schelomo Marmor PhD, MPH, Gustave K. Diep BS, Jane Yuet Ching Hui MD, MS, Eric H. Jensen MD, Todd M. Tuttle MD, MS
Gastrointestinal Oncology
Volume 24, Issue 11 / October , 2017



In the United States, the overall survival rates for gastric adenocarcinoma have remained low, with surgical resection as the only therapy for many patients. Given the advances in multimodality treatment and the development of guidelines recommending adequate lymph node evaluation, the authors determined whether overall survival rates for patients with gastric adenocarcinoma have increased in the United States.


The study used the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database to examine overall survival for patients with the diagnosis of gastric adenocarcinoma between 1988 and 2013. The study cohort was divided into five periods: 1988–1992, 1993–1997, 1998–2002, 2003–2007, and 2008–2013. Kaplan–Meier methods and Cox proportional hazards modeling were used to determine the effect that year of diagnosis had on overall survival.


The diagnosis was determined for 13,470 patients between 1988 and 2013. The use of radiation therapy and the proportion of patients who had at least 15 lymph nodes evaluated significantly increased during the study period. Unadjusted Kaplan–Meier estimates demonstrated significantly better survival rates for the patients with a diagnosis of gastric cancer in the later periods (2003–2007 and 2008–2013) than for those in the three earlier periods. In our Cox proportional hazards model, recent period was associated with a significantly lower hazard of 5-year mortality.


This analysis demonstrated for the first time that gastric cancer survival rates have significantly improved in the United States during the past 2 decades. This observation likely reflects improved adherence to cancer treatment guidelines, including adequate lymph node evaluation and delivery of adjuvant treatment more consistently.

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