Background: Gastric cancer (GC) is the third most common cause of malignancy associated mortality globally. The cornerstone of curative treatment involves surgical gastrectomy. In this study, we explore clinical trials involving gastrectomy for GC, highlighting inadequacies and underlining promising surgical interventions and strategies.
Materials and methods: On 1 May 2020, ClinicalTrials.gov was explored for interventional trials related to gastrectomy for GC, without adding limitations for location or date. All data pertaining to the trials were collected. Characteristics such as phase, duration, enrolment size, location, treatment allocation, masking and primary endpoint were analysed.
Results: One hundred thirty-eight clinical trials met the search criteria. Clinical trials were performed in only 14 countries; most of them occurring in China. Most trials (33%) were still in the recruiting phase. On average, the length of trials was 3.9 years. Most trials had parallel assignment, were randomised and masked. The primary endpoint which was mostly commonly studied was overall survival (33%). The most common intervention studied is laparoscopic gastrectomy in 43 (31%) trials.
Conclusions: Our study exposed a small number of trials, publication rate, absence of geographic variety in clinical trials involving gastrectomy for GC. Adequate management of trial design can help decrease duration and increase validity of results. More trials comparing different surgical techniques are needed to update the surgical practice of gastrectomy for GC.