Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has become the standard treatment method for early gastric cancers (EGCs) due to the negligible risk for lymph node metastasis (LNM) in Eastern Asian countries. According to the guidelines, the curability of EGC after endoscopic resection was classified into three groups: curative resection, expanded curative resection, and noncurative resection. In Eastern Asian countries, a structured follow-up schedule is needed for patients undergoing curative resection and expanded curative resection. Conversely, in Western countries, additional surgery may be recommended for some patients undergoing expanded curative resection (ulcerated, undifferentiated, or slight submucosal invasion) due to the potential risk for LNM, even though specimens of ESD and surgery may not be handled with the same methodology as that used in Japan, which may lead to this slightly higher risk. In noncurative resection, additional surgery is the standard method after ESD because of the risk for LNM. However, in elderly patients and/or those with severe underlying diseases, the advantages and disadvantages of additional surgery should be considered when selecting a post-ESD treatment strategy for patients undergoing noncurative resection. Risk-scoring systems for LNM may facilitate clinical decisions for these patients. However, it should be noted that when recurrence was detected in patients who were followed up with no additional treatment after ESD with noncurative resection, most of them had a poor prognosis. To select an appropriate treatment method, especially in elderly patients undergoing ESD with noncurative resection, a new tool for evaluating the condition of patients should be established.
- Endoscopic submucosal dissection
- Lymph nodes