Gastric Cancer

, 12:148 | Cite as

Incidence of lymph node metastasis and the feasibility of endoscopic resection for undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer

  • Toshiaki Hirasawa
  • Takuji Gotoda
  • Satoshi Miyata
  • You Kato
  • Tadakazu Shimoda
  • Hirokazu Taniguchi
  • Junko Fujisaki
  • Takeshi Sano
  • Toshiharu Yamaguchi
Original Article



Endoscopic resection (ER) has been accepted as minimally invasive treatment in patients with early gastric cancer (EGC) who have a negligible risk of lymph node metastasis. It has already been determined which lesions in differentiated-type EGC present a negligible risk of lymph node metastasis, and ER is being performed for these lesions. In contrast, no consensus has been reached on which lesions in undifferentiated-type (UD-type) EGC present a negligible risk for lymph node metastasis, nor have indications for ER for UD-type EGC been established.


We investigated 3843 patients who had undergone gastrectomy with lymph node dissection for solitary UD-type EGC at the Cancer Institute Hospital, Tokyo, and the National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo. Seven clinicopathological factors were assessed for their possible association with lymph node metastasis.


Of the 3843 patients, 2163 (56.3%) had intramucosal cancers and 1680 (43.7%) had submucosal invasive cancers. Only 105 (4.9%) intramucosal cancers compared with 399 (23.8%) submucosal invasive cancers were associated with lymph node metastases. By multivariate analysis, tumor size 21 mm or more, lymphatic-vascular capillary involvement, and submucosal penetration were independent risk factors for lymph node metastasis (P < 0.001, respectively). None of the 310 intramucosal cancers 20 mm or less in size without lymphatic- vascular capillary involvement and ulcerative findings was associated with lymph node metastases (95% confidence interval, 0–0.96%).


UD-type intramucosal EGC 20 mm or less in size without lymphatic-vascular capillary involvement and ulcerative findings presents a negligible risk of lymph node metastasis. We propose that in this circumstance ER could be considered.

Key words

Undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer Lymph node metastasis Risk factor Endoscopic resection 


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Copyright information

© The International Gastric Cancer Association and The Japanese Gastric Cancer Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiaki Hirasawa
    • 1
  • Takuji Gotoda
    • 2
  • Satoshi Miyata
    • 3
  • You Kato
    • 4
  • Tadakazu Shimoda
    • 5
  • Hirokazu Taniguchi
    • 5
  • Junko Fujisaki
    • 1
  • Takeshi Sano
    • 6
  • Toshiharu Yamaguchi
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology, Cancer Institute HospitalJapanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of EndoscopyNational Cancer Center HospitalTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Bioinformatics Group, Genome CenterJapanese Foundation For Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute HospitalJapanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Department of Clinical LaboratoryNational Cancer Center HospitalTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Department of Surgery, Cancer Institute HospitalJapanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan

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