Gastric Cancer

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 845–852 | Cite as

Surgical risk and benefits of laparoscopic surgery for elderly patients with gastric cancer: a multicenter prospective cohort study

  • Michitaka Honda
  • Hiraku Kumamaru
  • Tsuyoshi Etoh
  • Hiroaki Miyata
  • Yuichi Yamashita
  • Kazuhiro Yoshida
  • Yasuhiro Kodera
  • Yoshihiro Kakeji
  • Masafumi Inomata
  • Hiroyuki Konno
  • Yasuyuki Seto
  • Seigo Kitano
  • Masahiko Watanabe
  • Naoki HikiEmail author
Original Article



Laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG) might have greater clinical benefits for elderly patients as less invasive surgery; however, there is still little evidence to support its benefit. We evaluated the surgical outcomes of elderly patients in a nationwide prospective cohort study.


One hundred and sixty-nine participating institutions were identified by stratified random sampling, and were adjusted for hospital volume, type and location. During 1 year from 2014 to 2015, consecutive patients who underwent gastrectomy for gastric cancer were prospectively enrolled. ‘Elderly’ was defined as ≥ 75 years of age, based on the prevalence of comorbidities and the activities of daily living of patients of this age. We compared the surgical outcomes of LG to those of open gastrectomy (OG) in non-elderly and elderly patients. The primary outcome was the incidence of severe morbidities (Grade ≥ 3).


Eight thousand nine hundred and twenty-seven patients were enrolled [non-elderly, n = 6090 (OG, n = 2602; LG, n = 3488); elderly, n = 2837 (OG, n = 1471; LG, n = 1366)]. Grade ≥ 3 complications occurred in 161 (10.9%) patients who underwent OG and 98 (7.2%) who underwent LG (p < 0.001). After adjusting for confounding factors, we confirmed that laparoscopic surgery was not an independent risk factor (odds ratio = 0.81, 0.60–1.09). OG was associated with a significantly longer median length of postoperative stay in comparison to LG (16 versus 12 days, p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in the incidence of other postoperative comorbidities.


The safety of LG in elderly patients was demonstrated. LG shortened the length of postoperative hospital stay.


Elderly patients Laparoscopic surgery Gastric cancer Complications 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All study procedures were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the respective committees on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Cancer Institute Hospital, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research.

Conflict of interest

Dr. Kodera reports grants and personal fees from Taiho Pharmaceutical, grants and personal fees from Chugai Pharmaceutical, grants from Sanofi, grants from Merck Serono, grants and personal fees from Yakult Honsha, grants from Daiichi Sankyo, grants and personal fees from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, grants from Takeda Pharmaceutical, personal fees from Johnson & Johnson, personal fees from Asahi Kasei Pharma, grants and personal fees from Eli Lilly Japan, grants from Pfizer Japan, grants from EA Pharmaceuticals, grants and personal fees from ONO Pharmaceutical, grants and personal fees from Kaken Pharmaceutical, grants from Covidien Japan, grants from Shionogi, grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb, grants from Japan Blood Products Organization, grants from AbbVie GK, grants from Otsuka Pharmaceutical, grants from Eizai, grants from Abbott Japan, grants from CSL Behring, grants from Tsumura, grants from Nippon Kayaku, grants from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Japan, grants from KCI, grants from Maruho, personal fees from MSD, outside the submitted work.


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Copyright information

© The International Gastric Cancer Association and The Japanese Gastric Cancer Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michitaka Honda
    • 1
  • Hiraku Kumamaru
    • 2
  • Tsuyoshi Etoh
    • 3
  • Hiroaki Miyata
    • 4
  • Yuichi Yamashita
    • 5
  • Kazuhiro Yoshida
    • 6
  • Yasuhiro Kodera
    • 7
  • Yoshihiro Kakeji
    • 8
  • Masafumi Inomata
    • 3
  • Hiroyuki Konno
    • 9
  • Yasuyuki Seto
    • 10
  • Seigo Kitano
    • 11
  • Masahiko Watanabe
    • 12
  • Naoki Hiki
    • 13
    Email author
  1. 1.Department Minimally invasive surgical and medical oncologyFukushima Medical UniversityFukushimaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Healthcare Quality Assessment, Graduate School of MedicineUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Gastroenterological and Pediatric Surgery, Faculty of MedicineOita UniversityOitaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Health Policy and Management, School of MedicineKeio UniversityTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Faculty of MedicineFukuoka UniversityFukuokaJapan
  6. 6.Department of Surgical Oncology, Graduate School of MedicineGifu UniversityGifuJapan
  7. 7.Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Graduate School of MedicineNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  8. 8.Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Graduate School of MedicineKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  9. 9.Database Committee, the Japanese Society of Gastroenterological SurgeryTokyoJapan
  10. 10.The Japanese Society of Gastroenterological SurgeryTokyoJapan
  11. 11.Oita UniversityOitaJapan
  12. 12.Department of SurgeryKitasato University School of MedicineSagamiharaJapan
  13. 13.Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Gastroenterological CenterCancer Institute Ariake Hospital of Japanese Foundation for Cancer ResearchTokyoJapan

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