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Research Papers:

High incidence of other primary malignancies in patients with synchronous multiple gastric cancers “a multi-center retrospective cohort study”

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:20605-20616. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25027

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Daisuke Takeuchi _, Naohiko Koide, Akira Suzuki, Fumiaki Shimizu, Yoshinori Koyama, Takehito Ehara, Yuta Yamamoto, Makoto Koyama, Satoshi Nakamura, Masato Kitazawa, Yusuke Miyagawa and Shinichi Miyagawa

Abstract

Daisuke Takeuchi1, Naohiko Koide2, Akira Suzuki1, Fumiaki Shimizu3, Yoshinori Koyama2, Takehito Ehara1, Yuta Yamamoto1, Makoto Koyama1, Satoshi Nakamura1, Masato Kitazawa1, Yusuke Miyagawa1 and Shinichi Miyagawa1

1Department of Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Asahi, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan

2Department of Surgery, Nagano Prefectural Kiso Hospital, Asahi, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan

3Department of Surgery, Shinshu Ueda Medical Center, Asahi, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan

Correspondence to:

Daisuke Takeuchi, email: takeuchi_daichan@yahoo.co.jp

Keywords: multiple gastric cancers; multiple primary cancers; other primary malignancy; gastrectomy; gastric cancer

Received: March 20, 2017     Accepted: March 19, 2018     Published: April 17, 2018

ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the relationship between synchronous multiple gastric cancer and other primary malignancies. During 2002–2013, 1094 consecutive surgically treated gastric cancer patients were enrolled. Preoperatively, we performed total colonoscopy and whole-body computed tomography. When malignancies in other organs were suspected, detailed organ-specific examinations were performed. Synchronous multiple gastric cancer occurred in 102 patients (9.3%)which was frequently observed in patients with preoperative other primary malignancies (p < 0.001). Preoperative other primary malignancy was an independent risk factor for synchronous multiple gastric cancer (p = 0.001; hazard ratio: 2.145, 95% confidence interval: 1.354–3.399) and an independent prognostic factor of overall survival in patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent (p = 0.021; hazard ratio: 1.481, 95% confidence interval: 1.060–2.070). Thus, patients with preoperative other primary malignancies have a high risk of synchronous multiple gastric cancer. Careful preoperative examination is recommended to improve survival.


High incidence of other primary malignancies in patients with synchronous multiple gastric cancers “a multi-center retrospective cohort study” | Takeuchi | Oncotarget

INTRODUCTION

The detection of multiple lesions of gastric cancer (GC) has been increasing along with advances in endoscopic and pathologic examinations. Synchronous multiple GCs (SMGC) have been reported to account for 5–15% of all GC cases [1]. However, accessory lesions are generally not considered as a prognostic factor in SMGC patients [2, 3].

GC patients sometimes present other primary malignancies (OPMs), particularly in the colon [4]. Recent studies have demonstrated an association between SMGC and OPMs, and found that this association was frequently observed in colorectal cancer patients [5, 6]. However, the exact relationship between SMGC and OPMs remains unclear, and it would be of clinical benefit to clarify what types of OPMs occur in SMGC patients.

With this in mind, we performed the present multi-center retrospective cohort study to clarify the relationship between SMGC and OPMs.

RESULTS

Patients

The characteristics of the study population are summarized in Figure 1. A total of 1121 consecutive patients with GC were treated surgically between 2002 and 2013 in Shinshu University Hospital, Shinshu Ueda Medical Center, and Nagano Prefectural Kiso Hospital. Excluding 17 patients with special types of histology, such as neuroendocrine carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, 1094 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma were enrolled in the present study. Of the 1094 patients with GC, 102 patients (9.3%) had SMGC, including 80 patients with 2 GCs, 18 patients with 3 GCs, and 1 patient each with 4, 5, 6, and 7 GCs. Fifty-five patients underwent gastrectomy after non-curative resection by endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD), and 34 patients had GC in the remnant stomach. There was no patient with a new GC detected within 1 year after gastrectomy. Seventeen patients had metachronous GC, including 3 patients treated with endoscopic submucosal dissection and 14 patients treated with gastrectomy. Including these metachronous GCs, 115 patients had multiple GC (MGC); 4 patients had both SMGC and metachronous MGC. The mean follow up period was 41.8 months.

Characteristics of the enrolled study patients.

Figure 1: Characteristics of the enrolled study patients. A total of 1121 consecutive patients with gastric cancer (GC) were treated surgically between 2002 and 2013. After excluding 17 patients with special types of histology, 1094 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma were enrolled. Seventeen patients had metachronous GC. Including these metachronous GCs, 115 patients had multiple GCs (MGC). *Four patients had both synchronous MGC (SMGC) and metachronous MGC.

Clinicopathological features of MGC

The clinicopathological features of the patients with or without SMGC are shown in Table 1. SMGC was significantly more frequently observed in elderly patients (p = 0.002) and in patients with current smoking (p = 0.032), differentiated adenocarcinoma (p < 0.001), early cancer (p = 0.001), negative node metastasis (p = 0.035), negative distant metastasis (p = 0.015), and preoperative OPMs (p < 0.001) compared to in their counterparts.

Table 1: Characteristics of patients with or without synchronous multiple gastric cancer

Variable

With SMGC patients
(n = 102)

Without SMGC patients
(n = 992)

p-value

Age (years old: mean ± SD)

73.2 ± 10.3

69.7 ± 11.1

0.002

Sex

0.127

 male

77 (75.5%)

676 (68.1%)

 female

25 (24.5%)

316 (31.9%)

Alcohol consumption (every day)

0.275

 with

35 (34.3%)

289 (29.1%)

 without

67 (65.7%)

703 (70.9%)

Current smoking

0.032

 with

35 (34.3%)

244 (24.6%)

 without

67 (65.7%)

748 (75.4%)

Preoperative OPM

<0.001

 with

33 (32.4%)

165 (16.6%)

 without

69 (67.6%)

827 (83.4%)

Tumor location

0.544

 upper-third

27 (26.5%)

240 (24.2%)

 middle-third

35 (34.3%)

396 (39.9%)

 lower-third

40 (39.2%)

356 (35.9%)

Tumor size (mm: mean ± SD)

40.9 ± 26.1

48.6 ± 33.4

0.057

Histologic type

<0.001

 differentiated (tub/pap)

77 (75.5%)

551 (55.5%)

 undifferentiated (por/sig/muc)

25 (24.5%)

441 (44.5%)

Depth of invasion

0.001

 pT1

67 (65.7%)

474 (47.8%)

 pT2 or more

35 (34.3%)

518 (52.2%)

Node metastasis

0.035

 pN0

71 (69.6%)

584 (58.9%)

 pN1or more

31 (30.4%)

408 (41.1%)

TNM Stage

<0.001

 I

74 (72.5%)

528 (53.2%)

 II

17 (16.7%)

164 (16.5%)

 III

9 (8.8%)

203 (20.5%)

 IV

2 (2.0%)

97 (9.8%)

Chemotherapy for gastric cancer

 with

26 (25.5%)

347 (35.0%)

0.054

 without

76 (74.5%)

645 (65.0%)

BMI (kg/m2: mean ± SD)

22.6 ± 4.2

22.2 ± 3.3

0.618

Diabetes melites

0.465

 with

17 (16.7%)

139 (14.0%)

 without

85 (8.3%)

853 (86.0%)

SMGC, synchronous multiple gastric cancer; SD, standerd deviation; OPM, other primary malignancy; tub, tubular adenocarcinoma; pap, papillary adenocarcinoma; por, poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma; sig, signet ring cell carcinoma; muc, mucinous carcinoma; BMI, body mass index.

The clinicopathological features of the patients with or without MGC are shown in Table 2. Similar to SMGC, MGC was significantly more frequently observed in elderly patients (p = 0.001), men (p = 0.036), and in patients with current smoking (p = 0.0499), differentiated adenocarcinoma (p < 0.001), early cancer (p = 0.028), negative node metastasis (p = 0.025), and OPMs, including both synchronous and metachronous OPMs (p < 0.001), than in patients without these factors.

Table 2: Characteristics of patients with solitary and multiple gastric cancer

Variable

With MGC
patients (n = 115)

Without MGC
patients (n = 979)

p-value

Age (years old: mean ± SD)

73.3 ± 10.2

69.6 ± 11.1

0.001

Sex

0.036

 male

89 (77.4%)

664 (67.8%)

 female

26 (22.6%)

315 (32.2%)

Alcohol consumption (every day)

0.675

 with

36 (31.3%)

288 (29.4%)

 without

79 (68.7%)

691 (70.6%)

Current smoking

0.0499

 with

38 (33.0%)

241 (24.6%)

 without

77 (67.0%)

738 (75.4%)

OPM*

<0.001

 with

43 (37.4%)

192 (19.6%)

 without

72 (62.6%)

787 (80.4%)

Tumor location

0.058

 upper-third

38 (33.0%)

229 (23.4%)

 middle-third

37 (32.2%)

394 (40.2%)

 lower-third

40 (34.8%)

356 (36.4%)

Tumor size (mm: mean ± SD)

43.8 ± 29.0

48.33 ± 33.3

0.161

Histologic type

<0.001

 differentiated (tub/pap)

84 (73.0%)

544 (55.6%)

 undifferentiated (por/sig/muc)

31 (27.0%)

435 (44.4%)

Depth of invasion

0.028

 pT1

47 (40.9%)

506 (51.7%)

 pT2 or more

68 (59.1%)

473 (48.3%)

Node metastasis

0.025

 pN0

80 (69.6%)

575 (58.7%)

 pN1or more

35 (30.4%)

404 (41.3%)

TNM Stage

0.001

 I

81 (70.4%)

521 (53.2%)

 II

19 (16.5%)

162 (16.5%)

 III

12 (10.4%)

200 (20.4%)

 IV

3 (2.6%)

96 (9.8%)

Chemotherapy for gastric cancer

0.056

 with

30 (26.1%)

343 (35.0%)

 without

85 (73.9%)

636 (65.0%)

BMI (kg/m2: mean ± SD)

22.3 ± 4.2

22.2 ± 3.3

0.835

Diabetes melites

0.463

 with

19 (16.5%)

137 (14.0%)

 without

96 (83.5%)

842 (86.0%)

MGC, multiple gastric cancer; SD, standerd deviation; OPM, other primary malignancy; tub, tubular adenocarcinoma; pap, papillary adenocarcinoma; por, poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma; sig, signet ring cell carcinoma; muc, mucinous carcinoma; BMI, body mass index.

*OPM include pre- and postoperative cancers.

Occurrence of OPMs during the pre- and postoperative period

The most frequently observed malignancy in the total cohort was colorectal cancer, which was observed in 77 patients, followed by prostate and lung cancers. Malignancies of the thyroid (p = 0.031), esophagus (p = 0.044), and colorectum (p = 0.025) were more frequently observed in patients with SMGC than in those without (Table 3).

Table 3: Solitary and synchronous multiple gastric cancer patients with other primary malignancies including pre-and postoperatively diagnosed

OPM
(pre- and postoperative)

With SMGC
patients (n = 102)

Without SMGC
patients (n = 992)

p-value

Brain

1 (1.0%)

0 (0%)

0.093

Head and neck

 Oral

1 (1.0%)

0 (0%)

0.093

 Laryngopharynx

0 (0%)

12 (1.2%)

0.617

 Thyroid

3 (2.9%)

5 (0.5%)

0.031

Chest

 Lung

5 (4.9%)

23 (2.3%)

0.174

 Breast

0 (0%)

13 (1.3%)

0.624

Gastrointestinal tract

 Esophagus

4 (3.9%)

11 (1.1%)

0.043

 Colorectum

13 (12.7%)

64 (6.5%)

0.025

Hepatobiliary system

 Liver

1 (1.0%)

13 (1.3%)

1.000

 Bile duct

0 (0%)

4 (0.4%)

1.000

 Pancreas

0 (0%)

2 (0.2%)

1.000

Urogenital system

 Kidney

2 (2.0%)

4 (0.4%)

0.101

 Bladder

2 (2.0%)

14 (1.4%)

0.655

 Prostate

5 (4.9%)

25 (2.5%)

0.190

 Testis

0 (0%)

2 (0.2%)

1.000

Gynecologic organs

 Uterus

0 (0%)

7 (0.7%)

1.000

 Ovary

0 (0%)

2 (0.2%)

1.000

Retroperitoneum

1 (1.0%)

0 (0%)

0.093

Skin

1 (1.0%)

4 (0.4%)

0.388

Hematopoietic system

3 (2.9%)

11 (1.1%)

0.135

Soft tissue

1 (1.0%)

1 (0.1%)

0.178

Unknown origin

1 (1.0%)

0 (0%)

0.093

Total

41 (40.2%)

194 (19.6%)

<0.001

OPM, other primary cancer; SMGC, synchronous multiple gastric cancer.

Both antecedent and synchronous OPMs were more frequently observed in patients with SMGC (p = 0.032 and 0.006, respectively; Table 4). During the follow-up period, 9 OPMs were detected in 9 patients (8.8%) with SMGC, whereas 38 OPMs were detected in 37 patients (3.7%) without SMGC (p = 0.031; Table 4). There was no case of OPM detected within 1 year after gastrectomy.

Table 4: Other primary malignancies in patients with or without synchronous multiple gastric cancer

Variable

With SMGC
patients (n = 102)

Without SMGC
patients (n = 992)

p-value

Antecedant OPM

0.032

 with

16 (15.7%)

90 (9.1%)

 without

86 (84.3%)

902 (90.1%)

Synchronous OPM

0.006

 with

17 (16.7%)

84 (8.5%)

 without

85 (83.3%)

908 (91.5%)

Subsequent OPM

0.031

 with

9 (8.8%)

37 (3.7%)

 without

93 (91.2%)

955 (96.3%)

SMGC, synchronous multiple gastric cancer; OPM, other primary malignancy.

Relationships between MGC and OPMs

The presence of a preoperative OPM was found to be an independent risk factor for SMGC (p = 0.001; hazard ratio [HR]: 2.145, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.353–3.399; Table 5), and the detection of an OPM either preoperatively or postoperatively was an independent risk factor for MGC (p < 0.001; HR: 2.146, 95% CI: 1.409–3.268; Table 6). Furthermore, patients with current smoking and with SMGC frequently developed OPMs postoperatively (Table 7), and the presence of SMGC was demonstrated to be an independent risk factor for postoperative OPMs (p = 0.028; HR: 2.35, 95% CI: 1.095–5.045; Table 8).

Table 5: Multivariate analysis for risk factors of synchronous multiple gastric cancer

Variable

p-value

Hazard ratio

95% CI

Age (year)

0.002

1.038

1.013–1.063

Current smoking (with)

0.012

1.816

1.139–2.895

Preoperative OPM (with)

0.001

2.145

1.354–3.399

Histologic type (undifferentiated)

0.043

0.601

0.366–0.985

Depth of invasion (pT2 or more)

0.793

0.92

0.494–1.713

Node metastasis (pN1 or more)

0.065

1.794

0.965–3.335

Stage (I, II, III, IV)

0.004

0.503

0.316–0.802

CI, confidence interval; OPM, other primary malignancy.

Table 6: Multivariate analysis for risk factors of multiple gastric cancer

Variable

p-value

Hazard ratio

95% CI

Age (year)

<0.001

1.039

1.015–1.063

Sex (male)

0.001

1.314

0.801–2.157

Current smoking (with)

0.062

1.553

0.978–2.465

Pre- and postoperative OPM (with)

<0.001

2.146

1.409–3.268

Histologic type (undifferentiated)

0.106

0.683

0.430–1.085

Depth of invasion (pT2 or more)

0.284

1.373

0.769–2.453

Node metastasis (pN1 or more)

0.193

1.503

0.814–2.777

Stage (I, II, III, IV)

0.004

0.47

0.282–0.783

CI, confidence interval; OPM, other primary malignancy.

Table 7: Characteristics of patients with and without postoperative other primary malignancies

Variable

With postoperative
OPM (n = 46)

Without postoperative
OPM (n = 1048)

p-value

Age (years old: mean ± SD)

69.0 ± 7.9

70.1 ± 11.1

0.524

Sex

0.158

 male

36 (78.3%)

717 (68.4%)

 female

10 (21.7%)

331 (31.6%)

Alcohol consumption (every day)

0.433

 with

16 (34.8%)

308 (29.4%)

 without

30 (65.2%)

740 (70.6%)

Current smoking

0.030

 with

18 (39.1%)

261 (24.9%)

 without

28 (60.9%)

787 (75.1%)

SMGC

0.032

 with

9 (19.6%)

93 (8.9%)

 without

37 (80.4%)

955 (91.1%)

Tumor location

0.705

 upper-third

12 (26.1%)

255 (24.3%)

 middle-third

20 (43.5%)

411 (39.2%)

 lower-third

14 (30.4%)

382 (36.5%)

Tumor size (mm: mean ± SD)

42.9 ± 29.1

48.06 ± 33.0

0.297

Histologic type

0.902

 differentiated (tub/pap)

26 (56.5%)

602 (57.4%)

 undifferentiated (por/sig/muc)

20 (43.5%)

446 (42.6%)

Depth of invasion

0.939

 pT1

23 (50.0%)

518 (49.4%)

 pT2 or more

23 (50.0%)

530 (50.6%)

Node metastasis

0.654

 pN0

29 (63.0%)

626 (59.7%)

 pN1or more

17 (37.0%)

422 (40.3%)

TNM Stage

0.057

 I

27 (58.7%)

575 (54.9%)

 II

12 (26.1%)

169 (16.1%)

 III

7 (15.2%)

205 (19.6%)

 IV

0 (0.0%)

99 (9.4%)

Chemotherapy for gastric cancer

0.242

 with

12 (26.1%)

361 (34.4%)

 without

34 (73.9%)

687 (65.6%)

BMI (kg/m2: mean ± SD)

22.0 ± 3.0

22.3 ± 3.4

0.646

Diabetes melites

0.535

 with

8 (17.4%)

148 (14.1%)

 without

38 (82.6%)

900 (85.9%)

SMGC, synchronous multiple gastric cancer; SD, standerd deviation; OPM, other primary malignancy; tub, tubular adenocarcinoma; pap, papillary adenocarcinoma; por, poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma; sig, signet ring cell carcinoma; muc, mucinous carcinoma; BMI, body mass index.

Table 8: Multivariate analysis for risk factors of postoperative other primary malignancies

Variable

p-value

Hazard ratio

95% CI

Current smoking (with)

0.049

1.851

1.004–3.415

SMGC (with)

0.028

2.35

1.095–5.045

CI, confidence interval; SMGC, synchronous multiple gastric cancer.

Clinical outcomes after surgery

There were 995 patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent for GC. In these patients, there were no differences in the overall survival (OS) or disease-specific survival (DSS) between the patients with (n = 100) and without SMGC (n = 895: Figure 2A and 2B), or between patients with or without OPMs (Figure 3A and 3B). However, a significantly worse OS was observed in patients with preoperative OPMs than in those without (Figure 4A), whereas there was no difference in DSS (Figure 4B). In the multivariate analysis, although the presence of SMGC was not a significant predictive factor, preoperative OPM was identified as an independent prognostic factor in patients who underwent gastrectomy with curative intent (p = 0.021; HR: 1.481, 95% CI: 1.060–2.070; Table 9).

Survival curves of patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent according to the presence of synchronous multiple gastric cancers (SMGC).

Figure 2: Survival curves of patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent according to the presence of synchronous multiple gastric cancers (SMGC). (A) Overall survival. No difference in overall survival was seen between patients with and without SMGC (p = 0.761). (B) Disease-specific survival. No difference in disease-specific survival was seen between patients with and without SMGC (p = 0.118).

Survival curves in patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent according to the presence of other primary malignancies (OPMs).

Figure 3: Survival curves in patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent according to the presence of other primary malignancies (OPMs). (A) Overall survival. No difference in overall survival was seen between patients with and without OPMs (p = 0.064). (B) Disease-specific survival. No difference in disease-specific survival was seen between patients with and without OPMs (p = 0.076).

Survival curves in patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent according to the presence of other primary malignancies (OPMs) preoperatively.

Figure 4: Survival curves in patients undergoing gastrectomy with curative intent according to the presence of other primary malignancies (OPMs) preoperatively. (A) Overall survival. Patients with preoperative OPMs showed worse overall survival than those without (p = 0.033). (B) Disease-specific survival. No difference in disease-specific survival was seen between patients with and without preoperative OPMs (p = 0.647).

Table 9: Univariate and multivariate analysis on overall survival in gastrectomized patients with curative intent

Variable

Univariate analysis

Multivariate analysis

p-value

Hazard ratio

95% CI

p-value

Hazard ratio

95% CI

Age (year)

<0.001

1.05

1.034–1.066

<0.001

1.04

1.024–1.055

Sex (male)

0.053

1.367

0.996–1.878

BMI (kg/m2)

0.001

0.93

0.890–0.972

0.104

0.964

0.923–1.008

SMGC (with)

0.761

0.928

0.571–1.506

Preoperative OPM (with)

0.035

1.426

1.026–1.983

0.021

1.481

1.060–2.070

Histologic type (undifferentiated)

0.093

1.266

0.960–1.666

Tumor size (mm)

<0.001

1.015

1.011–1.018

0.005

1.007

1.002–1.012

Tumor depth (pT2 or more)

<0.001

3.586

2.640–4.872

<0.001

1.964

1.368–2.820

Node metastasis (pN1 or more)

<0.001

3.529

2.662–4.680

<0.001

2.03

1.455–2.831

CI, confidence interval; BMI, body mass index; SMGC, synchronous multiple gastric cancer; OPM, other primary malignancy.

DISCUSSION

Despite great efforts of gastrointestinal endoscopists to detect second or third lesions of GC, it is difficult to avoid missing lesions in cases of SMGC [7]. Various function-preserving procedures, such as endoscopic resection and limited gastrectomy, are performed for the treatment of GC [8]. However, these procedures lead to a larger remaining area of gastric mucosa with malignant potential in GC patients. Previous reports have demonstrated that SMGC are observed in 4–10% of GC patients [1, 7, 9], and the present study also showed a similar proportion. There are several risk factors for SMGC, such as advanced age, differentiated histology, and early GC [1]. Accordingly, in the present study, these factors were identified as independent risk factors of SMGC, consistent with previous studies.

Previous studies have reported an incidence of OPMs of 2.6–4.7% in GC patients [1012]. Green et al. [13] reported that an OPM was observed in approximately 8% of advanced GC patients and 32% of early GC patients. Our previous study also showed that OPM was observed in 25% of GC patients [14]. In the present study, the incidence of OPM was 21.5%. The rate was especially high for antecedent and synchronous OPMs, which was probably because of the high proportion of elderly patients in our study.

In these situations, a relationship between OPMs and SMGC is currently being examined. Ojima et al. [5] reported that the presence of SMGC is a risk factor of synchronous colorectal cancer, while Kim et al. [6] reported SMGC as a predictive factor for future metachronous OPMs. Taken together, these studies suggest the presence of a common oncological or epidemiological factor that causes both MGC and OPMs. Miyoshi et al. [15] reported that microsatellite instability due to mutations of mismatch repair genes plays an important role in the development of MGC. Such genetic disorders have been demonstrated to be associated with the development of colorectal cancer, as well as other cancers, such as esophagus, thyroid, and prostate cancers, among others [1620]. A genetic disorder, like a mismatch repair gene mutation, may be a common factor underlying the development of MGC and OPMs. The present study demonstrated that the presence of SMGC is a risk factor for the occurrence of OPMs postoperatively, as well as preoperatively. Several OPMs, including thyroid, esophagus, and colorectal cancers, were noted significantly more frequently in SMGC patients, both preoperatively and postoperatively, compared to in non-SMGC patients. Therefore, SMGC patients should be carefully assessed for the presence of these cancers, and gastrointestinal endoscopists, gastroenterologist, and surgeons should keep the relationship between SMGC and OPMs in mind.

The major determinant of prognosis in GC patients is the cancer stage, rather than the lesion number [1]. Our results showed that there were no differences in OS or DSS between the patients with or without SMGC. On the other hand, the presence of a preoperative OPM was an independent prognostic factor for OS. Our previous study also showed that GC patients with synchronous OPMs had a worse outcome after surgery than those without it [14]. Furthermore, Kim et al. [6] regarded that the presence of synchronous and metachronous OPMs negatively affected the clinical outcome of GC survivors. Our results suggest that OPMs may be associated with an increased risk of death. To improve the outcomes of GC patients, clinicians should make particular efforts to detect OPMs in patients with SMGC. It is important to consider the possibility of OPMs, especially in the organs where OPMs frequently occur. Routine esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy are useful for detecting esophageal and colorectal cancers, respectively. However, the detection of cancers such as prostate and thyroid cancers is associated with a number of problems, including risks of overdiagnosis and overtreatment [21, 22]. Establishment of a standardized screening method for the detection of OPMs could contribute to improved survival in SMGC patients.

Our study has some limitations. First, our data included no information regarding the patients’ familial history, staging of OPMs, and Helicobacter pylori infection status. Helicobacter pylori cause chronic gastritis, leading to cancer in the stomach [23], and might contribute to the incidence of MGC. Second, the follow-up period was not enough to detect all future GCs or OPMs.

In conclusion, because patients with preoperative OPMs have a high risk of SMGC, careful preoperative examination is recommended to improve the patients’ prognosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

SMGC definition and screening

SMGC was assessed by pathologic examination using the resected stomach samples, and the results were compared with the preoperative esophagogastroduodenoscopy findings. Multiplicity of GC was determined by the criteria of Moertel et al. [24], as follows: (1) two or more GCs must be pathologically proven to be malignant, (2) all lesions must be separated macroscopically by an area of normal gastric wall, and (3) the possibility that one of the lesions represents local extension of a metastatic tumor must be ruled out beyond reasonable doubt. Synchronicity of MGC was defined according to the criteria of Warren and Gates [25]. When two primary cancers were detected within 1 year, they were considered synchronous. When two primary cancers were detected more than 1 year apart, they were considered metachronous. The pathological features of the MGC were defined by main lesion, which is more advanced lesion and to be larger lesion if the depth of invasion was same.

OPM definition and screening

Multiple primary cancers arising from other organs were also defined according to the criteria of Warren and Gates [25]. Metachronous multiple primary malignancies included antecedent malignancies before surgery for GC and subsequent malignancies after surgery for GC. In order to identify preoperative risk factors for MGC, we classified the OPMs into two groups: a preoperative group including antecedent and synchronous OPMs, and a postoperative group including subsequent OPMs.

The histopathologic findings of GC were obtained using the resected specimens. The clinicopathologic features of GC were described according to the TNM classification (7th edition).

Before surgery for GC, we performed total colonoscopy when patients were able to consume food. When colonoscopy could not be performed preoperatively, we performed it within 1 year after surgery. Furthermore, we performed whole-body computed tomography in order to detect OPMs. When malignancies were suspected in other organs, we added several examinations specific to the suspicious organs. After gastrectomy, the GC patients were followed in the outpatient clinic of each hospital not only to check for recurrence and metastasis of GC, but also to detect OPMs, by esophagogastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, and whole-body computed tomography. Furthermore, when the patients complained of symptoms other than those in the abdomen, we consulted clinical specialists.

Statistical analysis

Data are shown as the prevalence (%) or mean values. Continuous variables were compared using the Mann-Whitney test, and categorical variables were compared using the Chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test, depending on their distribution. Multivariate analysis of independent risk factors was carried out by multiple logistic regression tests, and prognostic factors were analyzed by Cox’s proportional hazard models. The survival rates after gastrectomy were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS 22.0 (IBM Japan, Tokyo, Japan). For all analyses, P < 0.05 was considered significant. Missing data were accounted for using a list-wise deletion approach.

Abbreviations

CI: confidence interval; DSS: disease-specific survival; GC: gastric cancer; HR: hazard ratio; MGC: multiple gastric cancers; OPM: other primary malignancy; OS: overall survival; SMGC: synchronous multiple gastric cancers.

Author contributions

Conception and design: Daisuke Takeuchi, Naohiko Koide; Administrative support: Shinichi Miyagawa; Collection and assembly of data: Daisuke Takeuchi, Akira Suzuki, Fumiaki Shimizu, and Naohiko Koide; Data analysis and interpretation: Daisuke Takeuchi, Naohiko Koide, Yusuke Miyagawa, and Shinichi Miyagawa; Manuscript writing: All authors.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We wish to thank the help in the study given by Prof. Shinichi Miyagawa.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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