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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2009 Dec;9(12):1849-58. doi: 10.1586/era.09.132.

Optimal surgery for advanced gastric cancer.

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  • 1Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Surgery, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


Locoregional control remains a major problem after surgery, although a curative resection is still the only treatment to offer a cure for patients with gastric cancer. Despite the results of major randomized trials, the extent of nodal dissection continues to be debated. If there is a survival benefit to be gained by extended lymphadenectomy, added operative mortality should be eliminated. A pancreas and spleen-preserving D2 lymphadenectomy provides superior staging information and may provide a survival benefit while avoiding its excess morbidity. Splenectomy during gastric resection for tumors not adjacent to or invading the spleen increases morbidity and mortality without improving survival. Therefore, splenectomy should not be performed unless there is direct tumor extension. The Maruyama Index and nomograms that predict disease-specific survival may help to discriminate between patients with a high risk of relapse and select those patients who will be most likely to benefit from tailored multimodality treatment. There is growing evidence that gastric cancer surgery should be performed in high-volume centers with experienced specialists to reduce morbidity and operative mortality and to achieve better survival results.

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