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J Gastric Cancer. 2018 Mar;18(1):58-68. doi: 10.5230/jgc.2018.18.e5. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Effect of Early Adjuvant Chemotherapy on Survival of Advanced Gastric Cancer Patients: a Propensity Score-matched Analysis.

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Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea.



Generally, adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) should be initiated as soon as possible after surgery to eradicate microscopic cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of early AC on the survival of stage II/III gastric cancer patients.

Materials and Methods:

Four hundred sixty patients who received AC (S-1 or XELOX) for pathologic stage II/III gastric cancer at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital between January 2008 and December 2014 were included. Patients were divided into 2 groups: early AC administration (within 4 weeks) and late AC administration (more than 4 weeks). Patients in the early AC group (n=174) were matched 1:1 with patients in the late AC group (n=174) by propensity scoring to adjust for clinical differences. Three-year relapse-free survival (RFS) was evaluated according to the timing of AC.


Three-year RFS was 98.1% in stage IIA (n=109), 85.0% in stage IIB (n=83), 87.4% in stage IIIA (n=96), 83.5% in stage IIIB (n=91), and 62.5% in stage IIIC (n=81). After propensity score matching, RFS was similar between early and late AC groups (hazard ratio [HR],1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62-1.74; P=0.889). Pathologic stage and histological type were independent prognostic factors of RFS (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.06-3.96; P=0.033 and HR, 2.61; 95% CI, 1.42-4.80; P=0.002, respectively).


Early initiation of AC within 4 weeks does not affect survival rates in stage II/III gastric cancer.


Adjuvant drug therapy; Chemotherapy; Propensity score; Stomach neoplasms; Survival rate

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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