Background: Robotic gastrectomy (RG) for gastric cancer (GC) has been increasingly performed over the last decade. The technical feasibility and safety of RG for GC, predominantly early GC, have previously been reported; however, few studies have evaluated the oncological outcomes. This study aimed to determine the long-term outcomes of RG for GC compared with those of conventional laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG). Methods: Of the 521 consecutive patients with GC who underwent radical gastrectomy at our institution between 2009 and 2012, 84 consecutive patients who underwent RG and 437 patients who received LG were enrolled in this study. Long-term outcomes including the 3-year overall survival (3yOS) and 3-year recurrence-free survival rates (3yRFS) were examined retrospectively. Results: In the RG group, the 3yOS rates stratified by pathological stage according to the Japanese classification of gastric carcinoma (IA, IB, II, and III) were 94.7, 90.9, 89.5, and 62.5 %, respectively. No differences in 3yOS (RG, 86.9 % vs. LG, 88.8 %; p = 0.636) or 3yRFS (RG, 86.9 % vs. LG, 86.3 %; p = 0.905) were observed between the groups. 3yOS was strongly associated with cancer recurrence within 3 years (p < 0.001), while 3yRFS was associated with tumor size ≥ 30 mm (p < 0.001), clinical stage ≥ IB (p < 0.001), estimated blood loss ≥ 50 mL (p = 0.033), and postoperative pancreatic fistula CD grade ≥ III) (p = 0.035). Conclusions: RG for GC was feasible and safe from the oncological point of view in a cohort including a considerable number of patients with advanced GC.
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