J Cancer 2022; 13(9):2905-2911. doi:10.7150/jca.71349 This issue
Department of Gastric Surgery, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
Ayako Kamiya and Tsutomu Hayashi contributed equally.
Background: Elderly patients with stage I gastric cancer, a disease that is curable by surgery, easily develop long-term postoperative pneumonia (LTPP) within two years after surgery despite showing no active symptoms. The present study assessed whether or not LTPP determines the later prognosis among elderly patients.
Methods: We retrospectively examined patients >75 years old who underwent R0 gastrectomy for gastric cancer and were diagnosed with T1 disease at National Cancer Center Hospital between 2005 and 2012. LTPP was evaluated by chest computed tomography every year until two years after surgery.
Results: Of the 3412 patients who underwent gastrectomy in our hospital during this period, 159 were included in this study. The elderly patients who developed LTPP had a worse prognosis than those who did not. Furthermore, their comorbidities and LTPP were significant independent risk factors for a poor prognosis. Patients who developed LTPP had a significantly higher risk of dying due to respiratory disease or cardiovascular disease than those without pneumonia.
Conclusions: LTPP was significantly related to a poor survival and death from respiratory disease. To improve the prognosis, not only nutritional support but also exercise and rehabilitation program may be required for patients who develop LTPP within two years after surgery.
Keywords: pneumonia, gastrectomy, elderly patients