Esophagectomy vs Gastrectomy for Early Stage Adenocarcinoma of the Gastroesophageal Junction: What is the Optimal Oncologic Surgical Treatment?

      Guidelines for the management of gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma recommend esophagectomy as the preferred surgical treatment. Gastrectomy has been proposed as an equivalent procedure. This study aims to compare the oncologic outcomes of these operations. The National Cancer Database was queried for patients with clinical T1N0M0 (all sizes) and T2N0M0 (≤2cm) GEJ adenocarcinoma from 2004-2017. Patients treated with surgery-only were included and were stratified by surgical treatment. Propensity-score matching (PSM) was used to create a balanced cohort. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to evaluate for factors predictive of treatment. Kaplan-Meier (KM) and Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare overall survival (OS). 2,446 patients were identified. 75.1% received esophagectomy, while 24.9% were treated with gastrectomy. Patients at high volume facilities were more likely to undergo esophagectomy (OR 1.750, P < 0.001). Factors associated with lower likelihood of undergoing esophagectomy included age ≥75 years (OR 0.588, P = 0.001), female sex (OR 0.706, P = 0.003), and non-White race (OR 0.430, P < 0.001), compared to age ≤50 years, male, and White race, respectively. In the unmatched cohort, gastrectomy was associated with a higher rate of positive margins (4.1% vs 2.3%, P = 0.022). PSM yielded 591 pairs. In the matched cohort, patients treated with esophagectomy had improved 5-year OS compared to gastrectomy (70.6% vs 66.5%, P = 0.030). Multivariable analysis showed improved OS in patients treated with esophagectomy compared to gastrectomy (HR 0.767, P = 0.010). Esophagectomy is associatedwith improved survival and a lower incidence of positive margins in patients with early-stage GEJ adenocarcinoma when compared to gastrectomy.

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