Introduction: This study investigates the treatment and survival of young versus elderly potentially curable gastric cancer patients in the Netherlands. Patients and methods: All noncardia gastric cancer patients with potentially curable gastric cancer according to stage (cTx–3, cNx–3, and cMx–0) diagnosed between 1989 and 2013 were selected from the Netherlands Cancer Registry. Trends in treatment and overall survival were compared between young patients (younger than 70 years) and elderly patients (70 years or older). Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to examine the probability of patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy in the most recent period. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to identify independent factors associated with survival. Results: In total, 8107 young and 13,814 elderly gastric cancer patients were included. There was a major increase in the proportion of patients treated with resection and chemotherapy after 2004–2008. In young patients the increase was from 2.6% in 1999–2003 to 63% in 2009–2013 (p < 0.01). Also an increase was noticed among elderly patients, from 0.1% to 16% (p < 0.01). Median survival increased from 2004 to 2008 onward particularly in young patients and to a lesser extent in elderly patients (from 28 to 41 months vs from 11 to 13 months). Multivariable Cox regression analyses confirmed that overall survival improved for young and elderly patients. Discussion: Young patients experienced a stronger improvement in survival than elderly patients, resulting in an increasing survival gap. The literature shows this is a problem not only in the Netherlands but also throughout Europe. The dissimilarity in treatment between young and elderly patients could be the reason for this difference.

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Keywords Chemotherapy, Curative, Epidemiology, Stomach neoplasms, Surgery
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Journal Gastric Cancer
Nelen, S.D, Verhoeven, R.H.A, Lemmens, V.E.P.P, de Wilt, J.H.W, & Bosscha, K. (2017). Increasing survival gap between young and elderly gastric cancer patients. Gastric Cancer, 1–10. doi:10.1007/s10120-017-0708-7