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Gastric Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage II Gastric Cancer

Standard treatment options:

  1. One of the following surgical procedures:
    • Distal subtotal gastrectomy (if the lesion is not in the fundus or at the cardioesophageal junction).
    • Proximal subtotal gastrectomy or total gastrectomy (if the lesion involves the cardia).
    • Total gastrectomy (if the tumor involves the stomach diffusely or arises in the body of the stomach and extends to within 6 cm of the cardia).

    Regional lymphadenectomy is recommended with all of the above procedures. Splenectomy is not routinely performed.[1]

  2. Postoperative chemoradiation therapy.[2]
  3. Perioperative chemotherapy.[3]
  4. Postoperative chemotherapy.

Surgical resection with regional lymphadenectomy is the treatment of choice for patients with stage II gastric cancer.[1] If the lesion is not in the cardioesophageal junction and does not diffusely involve the stomach, subtotal gastrectomy is the procedure of choice. When the lesion involves the cardia, proximal subtotal gastrectomy or total gastrectomy may be performed with curative intent. If the lesion diffusely involves the stomach, total gastrectomy and appropriate lymph node resection may be required. The role of extended lymph node (D2) dissection is uncertain [4] and in some series is associated with increased morbidity.[5,6]

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Postoperative chemoradiation therapy may be considered for patients with stage II gastric cancer. A prospective multi-institution phase III trial (SWOG-9008) evaluated postoperative combined chemoradiation therapy versus surgery alone in 556 patients with completely resected stage IB to stage IV (M0) adenocarcinoma of the stomach and gastroesophageal junction and reported a significant survival benefit with adjuvant combined modality therapy.[2][Level of evidence: 1iiA] With a median follow-up of 5 years, median survival was 36 months for the adjuvant chemoradiation therapy group as compared to 27 months for the surgery-alone arm (P = .005). Three-year overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival rates were 50% and 48%, respectively, with adjuvant chemoradiation therapy versus 41% and 31%, respectively, for surgery alone (P = .005).The rate of distant metastases was 32% for the surgery-alone arm and 40% for the chemoradiation therapy arm. Because distant disease remains a significant concern, the aim of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B study (CALGB-80101), which is now closed, was to augment the postoperative chemoradiation regimen used in SWOG-9008.[7] Neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy remains under clinical evaluation, such as in the SWOG-S0425 (NCT00335959) trial, which is now closed and the RTOG-9904 trial, which is now completed.[8]

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