Family History and Survival of Patients with Gastric Cancer: A Meta-Analysis

  • Oh, Myueng Guen (Department of Internal Medicine, Chosun University Hospital) ;
  • Kim, Jin Hwa (Department of Internal Medicine, Chosun University Hospital) ;
  • Han, Mi Ah (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University) ;
  • Park, Jong (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University) ;
  • Ryu, So Yeon (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University) ;
  • Choi, Seong Woo (Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University)
  • Published : 2014.04.30


Background: Previous studies have generated conflicting evidence regarding associations between family history and survival after gastric cancer surgery. In this study, we investigated this question using a meta-analysis. Materials and Methods: To identify relevant studies, PubMed and Embase databases were searched up to June 2013. Two reviewers independently assessed search results and data extraction of included studies. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for overall survival (OS) were calculated based on fixed- or random-effects models. Homogeneity of effects across studies was assessed using $x^2$ test statistics and quantified by $I^2$. Results: A total of five studies were selected according to the inclusion criteria. The total number of patients included was 2,030, which ranged from 145 to 598 per study. There was no significant difference in OS by family history of cancer (HR=0.83, 95%CIs=0.50-1.38), but subgroup analysis of patients with a first-degree family history of cancer (HR=0.74, 95%CIs=0.60-0.93) and gastric cancer family history (HR=0.56, 95%CIs=0.41-0.76) tended to show better OS in these patients. Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that a first-degree family history of cancer or gastric cancer family history is associated with better survival of gastric cancer patients after surgery, after a systematic review of five previous studies. These results can be applied by clinicians when counselling patients regarding their risk of death from gastric cancer. Further study is needed to investigate the underlying mechanism between family history and survival in gastric cancer patients.


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