Characteristics of Gastric Cancer in Lebanon: a Descriptive Study from a Single Institutional Experience

Tarek Assi 1Elie El Rassy 2Aline Khazzaka 3Tania Moussa 4Tony Ibrahim 2Clarisse Kattan 2Fadi El Karak 2Fadi Farhat 2Marwan Ghosn 2Joseph Kattan 2

Affiliations

1Department of Oncology, Hotel Dieu de France University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon. tarekassi@gmail.com.

2Department of Oncology, Hotel Dieu de France University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.

3Surgical Research Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.

4Department of Radiology, Hotel Dieu de France University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon.

PMID: 27975180

DOI: 10.1007/s12029-016-9903-8

Abstract

Background: The epidemiology of gastric cancer in the Middle East has never been described. Therefore, the characteristics of gastric cancer in the Lebanese population will be reported in this study.

Patients and methods: A retrospective study that included all patients diagnosed with gastric cancer at Hotel Dieu de France University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon between 2010 and 2016 was conducted. All eligible patients were reviewed for demographic and epidemiologic analysis.

Results: The study included 123 patients diagnosed with gastric cancer. The median age at diagnosis was 59 years (range 15-72 years), and the median ECOG performance status was 2 (range 1-4). Most patients were metastatic at diagnosis (52.8%), and diffuse pathology type was predominant (39%). HER2 was positive in 16.2% and correlated with the occurrence of hepatic metastasis (p = 0.048). The HER2 status did not differ significantly between the histological subtypes, the site of the tumor, the stage of the gastric cancer at diagnosis, and the recurrence of cancer (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Gastric cancer in the Lebanese population is characterized by aggressive features such as advanced stage at diagnosis, high prevalence of diffuse type histology, and HER2 positivity.

Keywords: Diffuse histology; Gastric cancer; HER2; Lebanon; Middle East.