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16-01-2015 | Gastric cancer | Article

Current Status of Management of Malignant Disease: Current Management of Gastric Cancer

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

Author: Roderich E. Schwarz

Publisher: Springer US


Despite a continually decreasing incidence trend, gastric cancer remains a high-risk malignancy. Symptoms are often unspecific, and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is the key modality for diagnosing early and intermediate-stage disease. Surgeons play a critical role in guiding and managing multiple aspects of gastric cancer diagnosis and care. Potentially curable gastric adenocarcinoma has to be free of distant metastasis and should be staged through endoscopic ultrasound and computed tomography. Early (T1N0) gastric cancer can be considered for endosopic mucosal resection or submucosal dissection. All other M0 stage groups should be evaluated for preoperative chemotherapy or chemoradiation followed by resection through a multidisciplinary approach. Laparoscopic staging, complete (R0) resection, and extended lymphadenectomy (D2 dissection) are critical operative components that optimize curability during gastrectomy. The morbidity potential after gastrectomy remains high; splenectomy and distal pancreatectomy should be avoided if possible to minimize postoperative complications. Laparoscopic gastric cancer resections are increasingly pursued and have not shown disadvantages to open gastrectomy as long as oncologic principles are followed. For the palliation of specific symptoms in patients with incurable gastric cancer, operative interventions should be applied selectively if less invasive modalities are insufficient and only if a meaningful benefit can be expected from a resection or bypass procedure. Prophylactic total gastrectomy should be considered for individuals at risk for hereditary diffuse-type gastric cancer through germline E-cadherin gene mutations. Surgeons engaging in gastric cancer care are expected to provide specialty expertise in order to plan and deliver appropriate care, minimize postoperative morbidity, and optimize resulting survival.

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