Young Age and Risk of Lymph Node Metastasis in Differentiated Type Early Gastric Cancer
Young patients with gastric cancer reportedly have a worse prognosis than older patients due to delayed diagnosis and more aggressive tumor behavior. However, it is unclear whether this applies to early gastric cancer (EGC), for which endoscopic resection is indicated. We investigated the association between age and lymph node metastasis (LNM).
We identified 4055 patients diagnosed with EGC of differentiated histology who underwent surgery. The association between age and LNM was examined using logistic regression for each T stage separately with adjustments for multiple covariates. We compared LNM rates for each of the Japanese Endoscopic Resection Guidelines criteria in younger (< 40 years) and older patients (40 years).
The median number of lymph nodes examined was the same for T1a and T1b stages (n = 34). The median number of lymph nodes examined was not significantly different within T1a stage (P = 0.093), but within T1b stage, the number of lymph nodes examined was significantly different (P = 0.019). The highest number was between 50 and 59 years (median = 37), and the lowest number was in the 20 to 49 years and older than 70 age brackets (median = 34). LNM rate and age were not significantly associated within each stage (P values 0.269, 0.783 for T1a and T1b, respectively). Among patients fulfilling endoscopic resection criteria, the LNM rate in younger patients was lower than in older patients.
In differentiated-type EGC, young age at diagnosis was not associated with LNM rate. Therefore, endoscopic resection criteria for early gastric cancer can be applied to younger patients.
No external sources of funding were received for this study. All authors declare no conflicts of interest.