The role of adjuvant chemotherapy in gastric cancer has been studied extensively over the past three decades in an attempt to further improve the prognosis of patients with gastric cancer who have undergone curative surgery. To date, no definitive conclusions have been drawn from randomized clinical trials of adjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer, because few studies have shown a significant positive impact on survival as compared with surgery alone. The negative results of most previous clinical studies do not necessarily mean that the adjuvant chemotherapy approach to treatment of gastric cancer does not work. Recent published reports of meta-analyses concerning adjuvant chemotherapy of gastric cancer revealed small but clear survival advantages for adjuvant therapy over surgery alone. The positive data from meta-analyses suggests that there are potential survival advantages of adjuvant chemotherapy, but this must be proven in the future by well-designed clinical trials that compare adjuvant chemotherapy with surgery alone, in which sufficient numbers of patients are enrolled and effective chemotherapeutic regimens with appropriate dose intensity are employed. Newly developed anticancer agents and/or newer therapeutic combinations or strategies (neoadjuvant chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy, intraperitoneal chemotherapy) have the potential to benefit high-risk patients.
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