Published online Dec 14, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i46.8010
Peer-review started: May 20, 2021
First decision: June 22, 2021
Revised: June 28, 2021
Accepted: November 29, 2021
Article in press: November 29, 2021
Published online: December 14, 2021
Lymphatic basin dissection is a sentinel node biopsy method that is specific for gastric cancer. In this method, the dyed lymphatic system is dissected en bloc, and sentinel nodes are identified at the back table (ex vivo). Even with lymphatic basin dissection, blood flow to the residual stomach can be preserved, and function-preserving curative gastrectomy can be performed. The oncological safety of function-preserving curative gastrectomy combined with lymphatic basin dissection has not yet been fully investigated. We hypothesized that the oncological safety of sentinel node navigation surgery (SNNS) is not inferior to that of the guidelines.
To investigate the life prognosis of SNNS for gastric cancer in comparison with guidelines surgery.
This was a retrospective cohort study. Patients were selected from gastric cancer patients who underwent sentinel node biopsy from April 1999 to March 2016. Patients from April 1999 to August 2008 were from the Department of Surgery II, Kanazawa University Hospital, and patients from August 2009 to March 2016 were from the Department of Surgical Oncology, Kanazawa Medical University Hospital. Patients who were diagnosed with gastric cancer, which was preoperatively diagnosed as superficial type (type 0), 5 cm or less in length, clinical T1-2 and node negative, and underwent various gastrectomies guided by sentinel node navigation were retrospectively collected. The overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) of these patients (SNNS group) were investigated. Patients with gastric cancer of the same stage and who underwent guidelines gastrectomy with standard nodal dissection were also selected as the control group.
A total of 239 patients in the SNNS group and 423 patients in the control group were included. Pathological nodal metastasis was observed in 10.5% and 10.4% of the SNNS and control groups, respectively. The diagnostic abilities of sentinel node biopsy were 84% and 98.6% for sensitivity and accuracy, respectively. In the SNNS group, 81.6% of patients underwent modified gastrectomy or function-preserving curative gastrectomy with lymphatic basin dissection, in which the extent of nodal dissection was further reduced compared to the guidelines. The OS rate in the SNNS group was 96.8% at 5 years and was significantly better than 91.3% in the control group (P = 0.0014). The RFS rates were equal in both groups. After propensity score matching, there were 231 patients in both groups, and the cumulative recurrence rate was 0.43% at 5 years in the SNNS group and 1.30% in the control group, which was not statistically different.
The oncological safety of patients who undergo gastrectomy guided by sentinel node navigation is not inferior to that of the guidelines surgery.
Core Tip: The oncological safety of 239 patients with early-stage gastric cancer who underwent sentinel node navigation surgery was investigated. In total, 81.6% of patients underwent modified gastrectomy or function-preserving curative gastrectomy with lymphatic basin dissection, and the extent of nodal dissection was reduced compared to the guidelines. The overall survival rate at 5 years was significantly better, and the cumulative recurrence rate was equal to that of the control group in original data sets and propensity score-matched comparisons. The oncological safety of patients undergoing gastrectomy guided by sentinel node navigation is not inferior to that of the guidelines surgery.