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Br J Surg. 2011 Feb;98(2):255-60. doi: 10.1002/bjs.7310.

Changes in clinicopathological features and survival after gastrectomy for gastric cancer over a 20-year period.

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Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



The pattern of gastric cancer in the Western world is changing, with an increased proportion of tumours in the upper stomach. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in clinicopathological features and survival of patients with resected gastric cancer at a single institution, in an area of high incidence in the Far East.


Clinical features and pathological findings were compared in patients with gastric cancer who underwent gastrectomy at Seoul National University Hospital during four consecutive periods (1986-1990, 1991-1995, 1996-2000 and 2001-2006).


There were 12 026 patients. The mean age increased from 53·4 years in the first period to 57·4 years in the last (P < 0·001). The proportion of patients aged 70 years or older also increased, reaching 16·1 per cent in the final period. Upper-third cancer increased from 5·3 per cent in the first period to 14·0 per cent in the fourth (P < 0·001). Early gastric cancer (pathological T1) increased continuously over the four time intervals, from 24·8 to 48·9 per cent (P < 0·001). The overall 5-year survival rate increased from 64·0 per cent in the first period to 73·2 per cent at the end (P < 0·001), and this survival improvement was apparent in patients aged 40 years or more.


The mean age of patients with gastric cancer has increased during the past 20 years. The proportion of early gastric cancer and overall survival have gradually increased, especially in patients aged over 40 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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