Chemotherapy after surgery boosts gastric cancer survival

5 July 2013

Survival rates among advanced gastric cancer patients improve when surgery is followed by chemotherapy treatment, a study has found.

European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) research shows that undergoing chemotherapy after surgery can cut the risk of cancer-related death over five years by just over a third.

This new study follows up on a trial which added combination chemotherapy to a standard surgical procedure known as the D2 gastrectomy.

The findings were presented at ESMO’s World Congress in Gastrointestinal Cancer. ESMO spokesman Dr Andrés Cervantes said that although analysis of previous data has found that chemotherapy after surgery improved survival rates, until now most single studies had been negative.

Professor Sung Noon Noh, who presented the results, said that surgery remains the most important gastric cancer treatment and some had even suggested that surgery could get rid of the disease alone.

But there has been considerable debate over whether an operation is enough to fight the disease in its advanced stages, he noted, adding that this study “clearly shows” that chemotherapy after surgery can prolong sufferers’ lives.

Posted by Philip Briggs

 

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