Although endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is now accepted for treatment of early gastric cancers (EGC) with negligible risk of lymph node (LN) metastasis, ESD for intramucosal undifferentiated type EGC without ulceration and with diameter ≤ 2 cm is regarded as an investigational treatment according to the Japanese gastric cancer treatment guidelines. This consideration was largely based on the analysis of surgically resected EGCs that contained undifferentiated type EGCs; however, results from several institutes showed some discrepancies in sample size and incidence of LN metastasis. Recently, some reports about the safety and efficacy of ESD for undifferentiated type EGC meeting the expanded criteria have been published. Nonetheless, only limited data are available regarding long-term outcomes of ESD for EGC with undifferentiated histology so far. At the same time, endoscopists cannot ignore the patients' desire to guarantee quality of life after the relatively non-invasive endoscopic treatment when compared to conventional surgery. To satisfy the needs of patients and provide solid evidence to support ESD for undifferentiated EGC, we need more delicate tools to predict undetected LN metastasis and more data that can reveal predictive factors for LN metastasis.
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