Publication Abstract

Authors: Strauss J, Hershman DL, Buono D, McBride R, Clark-Garvey S, Woodhouse SA, Abrams JA, Neugut AI

Title: Use of adjuvant 5-fluorouracil and radiation therapy after gastric cancer resection among the elderly and impact on survival.

Journal: Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 76(5):1404-12

Date: 2010 Apr

Abstract: PURPOSE: In randomized trials patients with resected nonmetastatic gastric cancer who received adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoRT) had better survival than those who did not. We investigated the effectiveness of adjuvant chemoRT after gastric cancer resection in an elderly general population and its effects by stage. METHODS AND MATERIALS: We identified individuals in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database aged 65 years or older with Stage IB through Stage IV (M0) gastric cancer, from 1991 to 2002, who underwent gastric resection, using multivariate modeling to analyze predictors of chemoRT use and survival. RESULTS: Among 1,993 patients who received combined chemoRT or no adjuvant therapy after resection, having a later year of diagnosis, having a more advanced stage, being younger, being white, being married, and having fewer comorbidities were associated with combined treatment. Among 1,476 patients aged less than 85 years who survived more than 4 months, the 313 who received combined treatment had a lower mortality rate (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.71-0.98) than the 1,163 who received surgery alone. Adjuvant therapy significantly reduced the mortality rate for Stages III and IV (M0), trended toward improved survival for Stage II, and showed no benefit for Stage IB. We observed trends toward improved survival in all age categories except 80 to 85 years. CONCLUSIONS: The association of combined adjuvant chemoRT with improved survival in an overall analysis of Stage IB through Stage IV (M0) resected gastric cancer is consistent with clinical trial results and suggests that, in an elderly population, adjuvant chemoradiotherapy is effective. However, our observational data suggest that adjuvant treatment may not be effective for Stage IB cancer, is possibly appropriate for Stage II, and shows significant survival benefits for Stages III and IV (M0) for those aged less than 80 years.