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Acta Oncol. 2012 Sep;51(7):906-14. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Survival of stomach and esophagus cancer patients in Germany in the early 21st century.

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Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.



Esophagus and stomach cancers are associated with poor prognosis. But most published population-based cancer survival estimates for stomach and esophagus cancer refer to survival experience of patients diagnosed in the 1990s or earlier years. The aim of this study was to provide up-to-date survival estimates and trends for patients with stomach and esophagus cancer in Germany.


Our analysis is based on data from 11 population-based cancer registries, covering 33 million inhabitants. Patients diagnosed with stomach and esophagus cancer in 1997-2006 were included. Period analysis was used to derive five-year relative survival estimates and trends by age, sex, cancer subsite, and stage for the time period of 2002-2006. German and US survival estimates were compared utilizing the SEER 13 database.


Overall age-standardized five-year relative survival was 31.8% and 18.3% for stomach and esophagus cancer, respectively, compared to 27.2% and 17.4% in the US. Survival was somewhat higher among female than among male patients for both cancer sites (33.6% vs. 30.6% and 21.5% vs. 17.5%, respectively) and much higher for non-cardia stomach cancer (40.4%) than for cardia cancer (23.4%). From 2002 to 2006, a moderate increase in five-year relative survival by 2.7 percent units was observed for non-cardia stomach cancer patients in Germany (p < 0.001).


Five-year relative cancer survival has reached levels around 40% for patients with non-cardia stomach cancer in Germany in the early 21st century, whereas it remained at lower levels around 20% for patients with esophagus and cardia cancer.

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