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Prajnan Das, Yixing Jiang, Jeffrey H. Lee, Manoop S. Bhutani, William A. Ross, Paul F. Mansfield, and Jaffer A. Ajani

Most patients with localized gastric cancer require multimodality therapy. Surgery is the primary treatment for localized gastric cancer, although controversy exists about the optimal extent of lymphadenectomy in these patients. Recent studies have evaluated the role of laparoscopic surgery and endoscopic mucosal resection in selected patients. Multimodality treatment options for these patients include post-operative chemoradiation and perioperative chemotherapy. The Intergroup 0116 trial demonstrated that patients treated with surgery and post-operative chemoradiation had significantly higher overall survival compared to patients treated with surgery alone. The MAGIC trial showed that patients treated with perioperative epirubicin, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil had significantly higher overall survival compared to patients treated with surgery alone. Other recent trials have evaluated the roles of preoperative chemoradiation and adjuvant chemotherapy. Multidisciplinary evaluation plays a crucial role in the management of these patients.

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Derek J. Erstad, Mariela Blum, Jeannelyn S. Estrella, Prajnan Das, Bruce D. Minsky, Jaffer A. Ajani, Paul F. Mansfield, Naruhiko Ikoma, and Brian D. Badgwell

Background: The optimal number of examined lymph nodes (ELNs) and the positive lymph node ratio (LNR) for potentially curable gastric cancer are not established. We sought to determine clinical benchmarks for these values using a large national database. Methods: Demographic, clinicopathologic, and treatment-related data from patients treated using an R0, curative-intent gastrectomy registered in the National Cancer Database during 2004 to 2016 were evaluated. Patients with node-positive (pTxN+M0) disease were considered for analysis. Results: A total of 22,018 patients met the inclusion criteria, with a median follow-up of 2.2 years. Mean age at diagnosis was 65.6 years, 66% were male, 68% were White, 33% of tumors were located near the gastroesophageal junction, and 29% of patients had undergone preoperative therapy. Most primary tumors (62%) were category pT3–4, 67% had a poor or anaplastic grade, and 19% had signet features. Clinical nodal staging was inaccurate compared with staging at final pathology. The mean [SD] number of nodes examined was 19 [11]. On multivariable analysis, the pN category, ELNs, and LNR were independently associated with survival (all P<.0001). Using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, an optimal ELN threshold of ≥30 was established for patients with pN3b disease and was applied to the entire cohort. Node positivity and LNR had minimal change beyond 30 examined nodes. Stage-specific LNR thresholds calculated by ROC analysis were 11% for pN1, 28% for pN2, 58% for pN3a, 64% for pN3b, 30% for total combined. By using an ELN threshold of ≥30, prognostically advantageous stage-specific LNR values could be determined for 96% of evaluated patients. Conclusions: Using a large national cancer registry, we determined that an ELN threshold of ≥30 allowed for prognostically advantageous LNRs to be achieved in 96% of patients. Therefore, ≥30 examined nodes should be considered a clinical benchmark for practice in the United States.