Background Standard of care for patients with advanced gastric cancer includes administration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) before resection. This study assesses the pattern of use and impact of NAC on perioperative outcomes in US medical centers. Methods Using the American College of Surgeons National Cancer Database, 16,128 patients underwent gastrectomy for cancer from 2003 to 2012. Treatment groups were categorized as NAC or no NAC (ie, adjuvant chemotherapy and surgery only). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to estimate trends in utilization and impact of treatment on perioperative outcomes. Results Of patients undergoing gastrectomy, 36.6% received NAC and 63.4% did not receive chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting. Patients who received NAC were more frequently younger, male, white, privately insured, with fewer comorbidities, and treated at an academic center (all P <.0001). After controlling for demographics, comorbidities, and tumor-related factors, patients who received NAC had a postoperative duration of stay 0.43 days shorter than patients who did not receive chemotherapy (5.79 vs 6.22 days; P =.050). They had a 36% lower odds of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 0.64, P <.0001) but nonsignificant lower odds of 90-day mortality. Use of NAC increased annually, with the greatest increases seen in academic facilities and in the Northeast and North Central United States. Conclusion With concerns regarding the toxicity of NAC, these findings suggest that NAC is not associated with worse postoperative outcomes. In light of evidence touting the benefits of NAC, its adoption as a component in the multimodality care of gastric cancer is slowly increasing, although use of NAC remains poor overall.
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