AIM: To conduct a meta-analysis comparing laparoscopic (LGD2) and open D2 gastrectomies (OGD2) for the treatment of advanced gastric cancer (AGC).
METHODS: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs comparing LGD2 with OGD2 for AGC treatment, published between 1 January 2000 and 12 January 2013, were identified in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases. Primary endpoints included operative outcomes (operative time, intraoperative blood loss, and conversion rate), postoperative outcomes (postoperative analgesic consumption, time to first ambulation, time to first flatus, time to first oral intake, postoperative hospital stay length, postoperative morbidity, incidence of reoperation, and postoperative mortality), and oncologic outcomes (the number of lymph nodes harvested, tumor recurrence and metastasis, disease-free rates, and overall survival rates). The Cochrane Collaboration tools and the modified Newcastle-Ottawa scale were used to assess the quality and risk of bias of RCTs and non-RCTs in the study. Subgroup analyses were conducted to explore the incidence rate of various postoperative morbidities as well as recurrence and metastasis patterns. A Begg’s test was used to evaluate the publication bias.
RESULTS: One RCT and 13 non-RCTs totaling 2596 patients were included in the meta-analysis. LGD2 in comparison to OGD2 showed lower intraoperative blood loss [weighted mean difference (WMD) = -137.87 mL, 95%CI: -164.41--111.33; P < 0.01], lower analgesic consumption (WMD = -1.94, 95%CI: -2.50--1.38; P < 0.01), shorter times to first ambulation (WMD = -1.03 d, 95%CI: -1.90--0.16; P < 0.05), flatus (WMD = -0.98 d, 95%CI: -1.30--0.66; P < 0.01), and oral intake (WMD = -0.85 d, 95%CI: -1.67--0.03; P < 0.05), shorter hospitalization (WMD = -3.08 d, 95%CI: -4.38--1.78; P < 0.01), and lower postoperative morbidity (odds ratio = 0.78, 95%CI: 0.61-0.99; P < 0.05). No significant differences were observed between LGD2 and OGD2 for the following criteria: reoperation incidence, postoperative mortality, number of harvested lymph nodes, tumor recurrence/metastasis, or three- or five-year disease-free and overall survival rates. However, LGD2 had longer operative times (WMD = 57.06 min, 95%CI: 41.87-72.25; P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Although a technically demanding and time-consuming procedure, LGD2 may be safe and effective, and offer some advantages over OGD2 for treatment of locally AGC.