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Br J Cancer. 1995 May;71(5):1106-10.

Pathological prognostic factors in the second British Stomach Cancer Group trial of adjuvant therapy in resectable gastric cancer.

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Department of Histopathology, UMDS, London, UK.


The second British Stomach Cancer Group trial was a prospective randomised controlled trial of adjuvant radiotherapy or cytotoxic chemotherapy after gastrectomy for adenocarcinoma. It recruited between 1981 and 1986. No survival advantage has been demonstrated for the patients receiving either type of adjuvant therapy compared with those undergoing surgery alone. We report on 436 patients randomised into the trial together with 203 patients, who did not fulfil the trial criteria, referred to the trial. A univariate (log-rank) analysis of pathological factors obtained from the local referring centres showed that tumour size, macroscopic type, number os sites involved, depth of invasion, involvement of resection lines and lymph nodes and histological grade were significant determinants of survival. Histological review by two experienced histopathologists found that the Lauren classification and histological grade, but not the Ming classification, were significant prognostic factors. The degree of lymphocytic and eosinophilic infiltration and presence of dysplasia assessed by one of the pathologists showed a significant correlation with survival. However, inter-observer correlation for these histological parameters and grade was poor. Multivariate analysis identified only depth of invasion, resection line and nodal involvement as significant independent pathological variables influencing survival. This study confirms the need for expert preparation of the resected specimen to obtain the important information on depth of invasion and nodal status and also reveals some variation in histological assessment, particularly grading, in gastric carcinoma.

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