Background. The risk of recurrence and recurrence patterns after laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy for gastric cancer remain unclear. The objective of this study is to assess recurrence and its timing, patterns, and risk factors following laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy from multicenter data. Methods. A retrospective multicenter study was performed using data from 1,485 patients who had undergone laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy for gastric cancer at ten institutions from 1998 to 2005. Recurrence and its timing and patterns were reviewed. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify risk factors for recurrence. Results. Excluding 68 patients (9 postoperative mortalities, 1 synchronous distant metastasis, 2 nonadenocarcinomas, and 56 losses to follow-up), 50 of 1,417 patients (3.5%) had recurrences. Incidence of recurrence was 1.6% (19/1186) in early gastric cancer and 13.4% (31/231) in advanced gastric cancer. Recurrence occurred in 34 of 50 patients (68.0%) within 2 years of surgery, and in 45 of 50 patients (90.0%) within 3 years. The recurrence pattern was hematogenous in 17 patients (34.0%), peritoneal in 11 (22.0%), locoregional in 10 (20.0%), distant lymph nodes in 2 (4.0%), and mixed in 10 (20.0%). Advanced T-classification and lymph node metastases were risk factors for recurrence. Conclusions. Laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy showed satisfactory long-term oncologic outcomes similar to those of open surgery. The study provides additional evidence suggesting that laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy is a good alternative to open gastrectomy in patients with gastric cancer of relatively early stage, although results of a randomized controlled trial and more long-term follow-up are needed to provide conclusive evidence.
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