Background: This study aimed to analyze timing and sites of recurrence for patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgical resection is the standard treatment for locally advanced gastric cancer in the West, but limited information exists as to timing and patterns of recurrence in this setting. Methods: Patients with clinical stage 2 or 3 gastric cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by curative-intent resection between January 2000 and December 2015 were analyzed for 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) as well as timing and site of recurrence. Results: Among 312 identified patients, 121 (38.8%) experienced recurrence during a median follow-up period of 46 months. The overall 5-year RFS rate was 58.9%, with RFS rates of 95.8% for ypT0N0, 81% for ypStage 1, 77.4% for ypStage 2, and 22.9% for ypStage 3. The first site of recurrence was peritoneal for 49.6%, distant (not peritoneal) for 45.5%, and locoregional for 11.6% of the patients. The majority of the recurrences (84.3%) occurred within 2 years. Multivariate analysis showed that ypT4 status was an independent predictor for recurrence within 1 year after surgery (odds ratio, 2.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.10–6.08; p = 0.030). Conclusions: The majority of the recurrences for patients with clinical stage 2 or 3 gastric cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and underwent curative resection occurred within 2 years. After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, pathologic T stage was a useful risk predictor for early recurrence.
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