Nodal status represents probably the most important determinant of gastric cancer prognosis. The purpose of the present study was to assess the impact of the primary tumor’s T stage on lymph node harvesting after D1 resections for gastric cancer.
Between January 2000 and January 2012, the medical files of patients who presented to our department with the diagnosis of gastric cancer and were submitted to a gastric resection with curative intent were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 134 gastric cancer patients (mean age 67.36±9.64 – 35 females and 99 males) were submitted to a gastrectomy in our department (total or subtotal) with curative intent. The distribution of the tumors within the stomach was as follows: upper third – 37 patients, middle third – 49 patients and lower third – 46 patients.
Lymph node retrieval was superior in advanced T stage patients (T3,T4a/T4b) compared to their low T stage (T1a/T1b,T2) counterparts (p=0.0008). Similar findings were encountered when the comparison was reduced to the subtotal gastrectomy subgroup (p=0.0047). However, although there was a distinct trend, statistical significance was not reached for the patient group submitted to total gastrectomy (p=0.1088).
The results of the present study seem to add another value i.e. tumor’s T stage in the equation of lymph node retrieval in gastric cancer resection specimens. Lymph node retrieval in gastric cancer patients appeared to be dependent to the primary tumors T stage in the given patient sample.