Investigate long-term survival, morbidity, mortality and pathology results in patients following esophagectomy or total gastrectomy for GEJ cancer.
Both a total gastrectomy and an esophagectomy may be valid treatment options in patients with gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Which procedure results in the most optimal patient outcome is not well studied. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term survival, morbidity, mortality and pathology results in patients following esophagectomy or total gastrectomy for GEJ cancer.
A retrospective comparative cohort study of prospectively collected data from the Dutch Upper GI Cancer Audit combined with survival data of the Dutch medical insurance database was performed. Patients with GEJ cancer in whom a total gastrectomy or an esophagectomy was performed between 2011–2016 were compared. The primary outcome was 3-year overall survival. Postoperative morbidity, mortality, 3-year conditional survival, radicality of resection and lymph node yield were secondary endpoints.
A total of 871 patients were included: 790 following esophagectomy and 81 following gastrectomy. The 3-year overall survival was 35.8% after esophagectomy and 28.4% after gastrectomy (HR 1.2, 95%CI 0.721–1.836, p = 0.557). Postoperative morbidity, mortality, radicality of resection, lymph node yield and 3-year conditional survival did not differ significantly between groups.
A total gastrectomy and an esophagectomy for GEJ cancer show largely comparable results with regard to long-term survival, postoperative morbidity, mortality and pathology results. If both procedures are feasible other parameters such as surgeon's experience and quality of life should be considered when planning for surgery.