Background: Metastatic gastric cancer has a dismal prognosis. We identified a subset of patients where surgical resection with therapeutic intent was undertaken in the setting of known metastatic disease. Methods: Review of a prospectively maintained database of gastric cancer patients at a single institution over a 19-year period was performed. Results: Thirty-seven patients with metastatic disease known prior to resection with therapeutic intent were identified out of 3384 patients with gastric cancer (1%). Twelve patients had positive peritoneal cytology as the only evidence of metastasis, 21 had gross metastasis limited to peritoneal surfaces, one had peritoneal and ovarian metastasis, one had liver metastasis, one had retropancreatic lymph node metastasis, and one had a malignant pleural effusion. Thirty-six patients (97%) received chemotherapy prior to resection, and 30 (81%) received postoperative chemotherapy. The median time from diagnosis to resection was 4.5 months (range 1-22) in patients receiving preoperative chemotherapy. Median survival was 12 months after resection with no three-year survivors. Predictors of worse prognosis were cytologic or pathologic evidence of persistent metastatic disease at the time of resection or at laparoscopy within six weeks of resection (P < .01), N3 disease (P = .03), and total gastrectomy or additional organ resection (P = .04). Metastatic disease as evidenced by cytology only was not associated with improved prognosis. Conclusions: Highly selected patients with metastatic gastric cancer undergoing surgical resection with therapeutic intent have a relatively poor prognosis. Persistent detectable metastatic disease after preoperative chemotherapy portends a particularly poor prognosis.
- Gastric cancer
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