Early-stage gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer: Is there a survival benefit to neoadjuvant therapy?

Published:September 22, 2022DOI:



      Several randomized controlled trials have evaluated the efficacy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the management of resectable gastric cancer. Most patients in these studies had node-positive disease or more advanced T stage. The benefit of neoadjuvant therapy in patients with early-stage gastric cancer remains unclear.


      We queried the National Cancer Data Base to identify patients presenting with clinical stage IB gastric adenocarcinoma between 2006 and 2015. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with receipt of neoadjuvant therapy. Patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy were 1:1 propensity matched for age, year of diagnosis, Charlson index, insurance, tumor location, tumor grade, surgical approach, lymph nodes examined, and receipt of adjuvant therapy. Log rank testing was used to evaluate differences in overall survival between matched cohorts.


      A total of 1,258 patients met the inclusion criteria; 402 (32%) received neoadjuvant therapy. On multivariable logistic regression, increasing age (odds ratio 0.52, 95% confidence interval 0.34–0.80) was associated with reduced adjusted odds of undergoing neoadjuvant therapy, whereas proximal tumor location (odds ratio 3.67, 95% confidence interval 2.71–4.99) and poorly differentiated histology (odds ratio 1.78, 95% confidence interval 1.00–3.16) were associated with an increased adjusted odds of undergoing neoadjuvant therapy. A total of 271 patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy were successfully matched to 271 patients undergoing upfront resection. There was no statistically significant difference in 5-year overall survival (58.8% vs 50.3%, P = .512) between matched cohorts.


      Neoadjuvant therapy does not appear to be associated with an overall survival benefit in patients with stage IB stage gastric cancer.
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