Background The prognostic effect of perioperative blood transfusion on recurrence and survival in patients undergoing resection of gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC) remains controversial. Study Design All patients who underwent resection for GAC from 2000 to 2012 at the 7 institutions of the US Gastric Cancer Collaborative were identified. The effect of transfusion on recurrence-free (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in the context of adverse clinicopathologic variables was examined by univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Results Of 965 patients, 765 underwent curative intent R0 resection. Median follow-up was 44 months; 30-day mortalities were excluded. Median estimated blood loss (EBL) was 200 mL, and 168 patients (22%) received perioperative allogeneic blood transfusions. Transfused patients were less likely to receive adjuvant therapy (44% vs 56%; p = 0.01). Transfusion was associated with significantly decreased median RFS (13.5 vs 37.2 months, p <0.001). Median OS was similarly decreased in patients receiving transfusions (18.6 vs 49.8 months, p <0.001). On multivariate analysis, transfusion remained an independent risk factor for decreased RFS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.63; 95% CI 1.13 to 2.37; p = 0.010) and decreased OS (HR 1.79; 95% CI 1.21 to 2.67; p = 0.004), regardless of EBL or need for splenectomy. Timing (intraoperative vs postoperative) and volume of transfusion did not alter the negative prognostic effect of transfusion on survival. Conclusions Perioperative allogeneic blood transfusion is associated with decreased RFS and OS after resection of gastric cancer, independent of adverse clinicopathologic factors. This supports the judicious use of perioperative transfusion during resection of gastric cancer.
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