(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Shortening the interval between upper endoscopies decreases the stage of gastric cancer at diagnosis, according to a team of Korean researchers. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Association of the interval between endoscopies with gastric cancer stage at diagnosis in a region of high prevalence,” which was published in Cancer online on July 13.

The investigators aimed to “evaluate the association between the interval between upper gastrointestinal endoscopies and the gastric cancer stage at diagnosis in patients from a region of high prevalence.” To meet this aim, the investigators studied a cohort of 2485 patients diagnosed with gastric adenocarcinoma, stratifying them into 7 groups: 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, >5-year intervals between upper endoscopies and those who had never been screened.

The following results were reported. The risk of higher cancer stage at diagnosis increased by 23% per increase in interval length (odds ratio [OR] = 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19–1.28). Compared to the never-screened group, the OR of having a higher stage of cancer decreased gradually from 0.53 (95% CI = 0.41–0.69) in the >5-year interval group to 0.31 (95% CI = 0.24–0.40) in the 1-year interval group. Compared to the 1-year interval group, the risk of advanced gastric cancer was increased in the 4- and 5-year, but not the 2- and 3-year, interval groups. However, patients with a family history of gastric cancer were more likely to have a higher stage at diagnosis if they had a 3-year interval rather than a 1-year interval.

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The investigators concluded: “Endoscopy intervals of 3 years or less showed significant benefits, but family members of gastric cancer patients may benefit from intervals of under 3 years.”