Methods: The US Gastric Cancer Collaborative includes all patients who underwent resection of GAC at seven institutions from 2000–2012. Intraoperative proximal margin FS data and final permanent section (PS) data were classified as R0 or R1, respectively; positive distal margins were excluded. The primary aim was to evaluate the impact on local recurrence of converting a positive proximal FS-R1 margin to a PS-R0 final margin by additional resection. Secondary endpoints were recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS).
Results: Of 860 patients, 520 had a proximal margin FS and 67 were positive. Of these, 48 were converted to R0 on PS by additional resection. R0 proximal margin was achieved in 447 patients (86 %), PS-R1 in 25 (5 %), and converted FS-R1-to-PS-R0 in 48 (9 %). The median follow-up was 44 months. Local recurrence was significantly decreased in the converted FS-R1-to-PS-R0 group compared to the PS-R1 group (10 vs. 32 %; p = 0.01). Median RFS was similar between the FS-R1-to-PS-R0 and PS-R1 cohorts (25 vs. 20 months; p = 0.49), compared to 37 months for the PS-R0 group. Median OS was similar between the FS-R1-to-PS-R0 conversion and PS-R1 groups (36 vs. 26 months; p = 0.14) compared to 50 months for the PS-R0 group. On multivariate analysis, increasing T-stage and N-stage were associated with worse OS; the FS-R1-to-PS-R0 proximal margin conversion was not significantly associated with improved RFS (p = 0.68) or OS (p = 0.44).
Conclusion: Conversion of a positive intraoperative proximal margin frozen section during gastric cancer resection may decrease local recurrence, but it is not associated with improved RFS or OS. This may guide decisions regarding the extent of resection.
Background: The proximal gastric margin dictates the extent of resection for gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC). The value of achieving negative margins via additional gastric resection after a positive proximal margin frozen section (FS) is unknown.
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