Journal List > J Korean Gastric Cancer Assoc > v.6(2) > 1037021

Ahn, Kwon, Yun, Song, Mok, Han, and Kim: pT1N3 Gastric Cancer



Various minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as an endoscopic mucosal resection and a laparoscopic gastrectomy, are becoming common practice for some cases of early gastric cancer (EGC) defined in terms of the depth of invasion being limited to the mucosa or submucosa. However, there are rare cases of early gastric cancer with massive lymph-node metastasis.

Materials and Methods

From 6 university hospitals of Korea, 2,772 EGC cases were resected during the various period of analysis (1,432 cases of mucosal cancer and 1,340 of submucosal cancer).


As control data, we used the data from a single institute, CHA University Hospital. There were nine cases of early gastric cancer (9/2,772, 0.32%) with N3 lymph node metastasis defined by more than 15 lymph nodes being metastasized according to the UICC-TNM classification (pT1N3, stage IV). Two cases were mucosal cancer (2/1,432, 0.14%), and seven cases were submucosal cancer (7/1,340, 0.52%). Metastasized lymph nodes varied in number from 18 to 52. There were three male and six female patients with a mean age of 57. This is a totally reversed sex ratio compared to the usual gastric cancer or EGC. Among the total of 9 EGC patients, there were 5 who had superficial spreading carcinomas with surface areas larger than 25 cm2. This is a significantly higher proportion compared to the general EGC population. When we compared the tumor size according to the LN status, the N3 group was definitely larger than the other groups. 78% of the pT1N3 cases showed lymphatic invasion, which is very high compared to the 4.7% in general EGC cases. Among the 9 cases, 6 patients had too short a follow-up period to evaluate the correct prognosis, but there was one patient with a non-curative resection and two patients with early recurrence. Although the sample size is small and the follow-up period is short, we can expect a very poor prognosis when we consider the common prognosis of EGC that is widely known and accepted.


From these results, we can a conclude that the risk factors for pT1N3 gastric cancer are female patients, submucosal invasion, larger tumor size, and lymphatic invasion. However rare, the existence of pT1N3 gastric cancer needs to be taken into consideration, especially during the diagnosis. Furthermore, minimally invasive treatment for EGC needs to be chosen with great precaution. Since the prognosis of pT1N3 gastric cancer is expected to be poor, aggressive adjuvant chemotherapy may be necessary.


Sang Uk Han

Similar articles