BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility of a different path to achieve curative surgery in patients older than age 70 years and affected by resectable gastric cancer. STUDY DESIGN: This is a multicentric retrospective study based on an analysis of 1,465 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma who underwent surgery with curative intent. Patients were divided into 2 age groups (younger than 70 years vs older than 70 years) and were evaluated with respect to postoperative morbidity and mortality and survival. RESULTS: Postoperative morbidity and mortality in elderly and nonelderly groups were 24.8% vs 20.6% and 2.6% vs 3.7%, respectively (p = NS). In the elderly group, multivisceral resection was independently associated with surgical complications (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.988; 95% CI, 1.124-3.516; p = 0.018), total gastrectomy with medical complications (HR = 2.007; 95% CI, 1.165-3.459; p = 0.012), and higher postoperative mortality (HR = 4.319; 95% CI, 1.571-11.873; p = 0.005); D1 lymph node dissection was predictive of a lower postoperative mortality rate (HR = 0.219; 95% CI, 0.080-0.603; p = 0.003). Five-year overall survival rates differed significantly in young and elderly patients (58.9% vs 38.9%; p < 0.001), and 5-year cancer-specific survival did not show any significant difference. CONCLUSIONS: Age should not be considered as a factor in the selection of treatment for gastric cancer patients. Curative surgery can be performed as safely in elderly patients as in younger patients, with comparable postoperative results and long-term survival rates, although the life expectancy of elderly patients is shorter.
- gastric cancer