Article Abstract

Exploring the differences between early-onset gastric cancer and traditional-onset gastric cancer

Authors: Anwar Giryes, Hani Oweira, Meinrad Mannhart, Michael Decker, Omar Abdel-Rahman


Background: The current study sought to explore the potential clinical, epidemiological and genetic differences between early-onset gastric cancer (E-gastric cancer: defined as 20–39 years) and traditional-onset gastric cancer (T-gastric cancer: defined as ≥40 years).
Methods: Datasets from the following sources were searched: Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database [2000–2014], Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and the cancer genome atlas (TCGA). Clinicopathological characteristics, trends, and genetic findings were compared between E-gastric cancer and T-gastric cancer. Moreover, correlations with relevant risk factors were sought after.
Results: A total of 95,323 gastric cancer patients were identified in the period from 2000 to 2014. While T-gastric cancer was decreasing during the study period (−1.4; P<0.05), E-gastric cancer was stable during the study period. E-gastric cancer is less prevalent in males (51.1% vs. 61.0%; P<0.0001), and white patients (68.9% vs. 71.4%; P<0.0001). E-gastric cancer patients usually present with poorly differentiated histology (55.3% vs. 48.0%; P<0.0001) as well as more aggressive histological subtypes (e.g., diffuse histology or linitis plastica). No difference can be detected with regards to risk factor correlations between E-gastric cancer and T-gastric cancer. Only four patients with E-gastric cancer were available in the provisional TCGA dataset at the time of the study.
Conclusions: E-gastric cancer is a potentially distinct disease entity with specific clinicopathological and trend patterns compared to conventional T-gastric cancer. Further studies are needed to explore the potential etiologic basis as well as to investigate the clinical consequences of this distinction. The impact of this distinction on minority populations requires further assessment as well.