Background Cases of metachronous gastric carcinoma arising from a gastric tube used for reconstruction have been increasing in long-term survivors of esophageal cancer in recent years. We investigated the characteristics of gastric tube carcinoma to determine the most appropriate approach to managing it. Methods Between 1980 and 1997, 508 patients underwent radical esophagectomy for esophageal carcinoma at Keio University Hospital. Reconstruction was performed with a gastric tube in 414 (81.5%) of them, and 8 of them developed a metachronous carcinoma in the gastric tube. The clinical and pathologic characteristics of the gastric tube carcinomas were evaluated in this study. Results Gastric cancer was detected during follow-up endoscopic examinations or in an upper gastrointestinal series in seven patients. All of the cancers were diagnosed as adenocarcinoma histopathologically. Endoscopic mucosal resection was performed in two patients, partial resection of the residual stomach was performed in three patients. One patient was treated by endoscopic mucosal resection as palliative therapy, since he had severe pulmonary emphysema. Total resection of the gastric tube was attempted in 2 advanced cases but was unsuccessful because of direct invasion of other organ by the cancer. The 5 patients who underwent curative resection are alive with no subsequent recurrence. Conclusions Since early diagnosis permits less invasive treatment and curative treatment is difficult in advanced cases, strict postoperative examinations are important after radical esophagectomy to ensure early detection of metachronous gastric carcinoma arising from gastric tubes used for reconstruction.
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