J Cancer 2020; 11(20):6133-6139. doi:10.7150/jca.47559 This issue
1. Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China
2. Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, ShangCai Village, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
*Wei-teng Zhang and Ce Zhu contribute equally to this work.
Background: We aimed to determine whether splenic features change during tumor progression by evaluating the clinicopathological characteristics relevant to splenic density in patients with gastric cancer (GC) and identify a new predictive indicator of prognosis and chemotherapy benefits.
Methods: In the present analysis, 408 patients who underwent gastrectomy were included. Density was expressed in mean spleen Hounsfield units on computed tomography. Other clinical characteristics and detailed follow-up data were collected. The cutoff splenic density was 47.8 by the Xtile software. The R software was used for characteristic differential analysis in patients with different splenic densities. The Cox proportional hazards model and forest plot were used for prognosis and chemotherapy benefit analyses.
Results: Patients with low splenic density had significantly worse 3-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates (high vs low splenic density: DFS, 63.4% vs 44.6%, p<0.001; OS, 69.8% vs 52.4%, p<0.001). Splenic density showed strong negative correlations with age, number of metastasized lymph nodes, tumor size, and depth of tumor invasion. The benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy were better in the low splenic density group (hazard ratio of OS, 0.546; p=0.001) than in the high-density group (hazard ratio of OS, 0.701; p=0.106).
Conclusions: Patients with low splenic density tended to have more advanced tumors and poor prognosis, but better chemotherapy benefits. Splenic density can be regarded as a new indicator of chemotherapy benefits and increase the accuracy of preoperative staging evaluation. Moreover, preoperative evaluation of splenic density may help establish individualized treatment strategies.
Keywords: gastric cancer, chemotherapy, splenic density, prognostic factor