Purpose We conducted this retrospective study to evaluate the effectiveness of giving oral anti-cancer drugs for 2 years as postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy to gastric cancer patients. Methods The subjects were 76 patients with stage II and III gastric cancer, who underwent curative surgery between 1989 and 2008. We divided the 20 years chronologically into the UFT term (1989-2003) and the S-1 term (2004-2008). The patients from each term were then divided into three groups according to the length of drug administration; namely, the surgery alone group, the 1-year group, and the 2-year group. Results The survival time of the 2-year group was better than that of the surgery alone group, not only in the UFT term, but also in the S-1 term (P = 0.0224). Longer relapse-free survival was evident in the S-1 term, especially for the 2-year group (P = 0.0110). A multivariate analysis showed both the stage of the cancer and 2 years of postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy to be independent factors predictive of prolonged survival (P = 0.0040 and P = 0.0022, respectively). Conclusions The 2-year administration of oral anti-cancer drugs as postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy might improve the outcome of stage II, III gastric cancer patients. Randomized control trials are warranted to prove the effectiveness of this 2-year regimen.
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