Original Communications| Volume 127, ISSUE 2, P129-135, February 2000

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Superiority of a new UICC-TNM staging system for gastric carcinoma


      Background: The definition of the degree of lymph node metastasis (n-classification) for gastric cancer differs greatly in the new Union Internationale Contre le Cancer—TNM classification (5th edition) and the Japanese gastric cancer classification (JGC). The feasibility of the new TNM classification is evaluated in comparison with the JGC. Methods: At Chiba University, 940 patients who underwent a gastrectomy were retrospectively classified into appropriate stages with both the TNM and JGC systems, and the survival curves of the respective stages were also compared. Results: Patients with 1 to 6 metastatic nodes (TNM-pN1) showed similar survival rates whether the metastases were limited to the perigastric area (JGC-n1) or reached distant areas (JGC-n2). The patients with node metastasis that was limited to the perigastric area (JGC-n1) had significantly different survival rates, depending on the number of metastatic nodes (TNM-pN1 or pN2, P =.022). A similar phenomenon was also observed in patients with TNM-N2 and JGC-n2. A multivariate analysis indicated the TNM N-classification, rather than the JGC n-classification, as an independent prognostic factor. Conclusions: The new TNM classification appears to be a better prognostic indicator than the JGC system for patients with gastric carcinoma. (Surgery 2000;127:129-35.)
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