Current status and future perspectives of laparoscopic radical surgery for advanced gastric cancer
Laparoscopic radical gastrectomy with lymph node dissection has widely penetrated to East Asian countries, where incidence of gastric cancer occurrence is higher than the rest of the world. Laparoscopic distal gastrectomy for cStageI disease is regarded as one of the option in daily practice in the latest Japanese guidelines; however its applicability to more advanced disease (Stage II/III) is still under debate. Actually, operative techniques of laparoscopic D2 dissection is being matured, but still, necessity of total omentectomy, splenic hilar dissection, management of bulky nodes or large primary tumor, high-level anastomosis in esophageal invasion cases, and extensive peritoneal lavage can be raised as technical limitations. In the future perspective, further technological innovation, including next generation surgical robot, may help surgeons overcome these difficulties. Currently, three large-scaled randomized phase-III clinical trials are ongoing in East Asia, in which patients’ accruals have been already completed. With coming long-term outcomes of these well-designed studies, oncological validity of laparoscopic approach will be adequately elucidated.