Conversion therapy in gastric cancer (GC) is defined as the use of chemotherapy/radiotherapy followed by surgical resection with curative intent of a tumor that was prior considered unresectable or oncologically incurable.
To evaluate the results of conversion therapy in the treatment of GC.
Retrospective analysis of all GC surgeries between 2009 and 2018. Patients who received any therapy before surgery were further identified to define the conversion group.
Out of 1003 surgeries performed for GC, 113 cases underwent neoadjuvant treatment and 16 (1.6%) were considered as conversion therapy. The main indication for treatment was: T4b lesions (n=10), lymph node metastasis (n=4), peritoneal carcinomatosis and hepatic metastasis in one case each. The diagnosis was made by imaging in 14 cases (75%) and during surgical procedure in four (25%). The most commonly used chemotherapy regimens were XP and mFLOX. Major surgical complications occurred in four cases (25%) and one (6.3%) died. After an average follow-up of 20 months, 11 patients (68.7%) had recurrence and nine (56.3%) died. Prolonged recurrence-free survival over 40 months occurred in two cases.
Conversion therapy may offer the possibility of prolonged survival for a group of GC patients initially considered beyond therapeutic possibility.
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