The prognostic impact of pre-treatment cachexia in resectional surgery for oesophagogastric cancer: a meta-analysis and meta-regression

Leo R Brown, Judith Sayers, Michael S Yule, Thomas M Drake, Ross D Dolan, Donald C McMillan, Barry J A Laird, Stephen J Wigmore, Richard J E Skipworth

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Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Cancer cachexia is not purely an end-stage phenomenon and can influence the outcomes of patients with potentially curable disease. This review examines the effect of pre-treatment cachexia on overall survival, in patients undergoing surgical resection of oesophagogastric cancer.

METHODS: A systematic literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases was conducted, from January 2000 to May 2022, to identify studies reporting the influence of cachexia on patients undergoing an oesophagogastric resection for cancer with curative intent. Meta-analyses of the primary (overall survival) and secondary (disease-free survival and postoperative mortality) outcomes were performed using random-effects modelling. Meta-regression was used to examine disease stage as a potential confounder.

RESULTS: Ten non-randomized studies, comprising 7186 patients, were eligible for inclusion. The prevalence of pre-treatment cachexia was 35 per cent (95 per cent c.i.: 24-47 per cent). Pooled adjusted hazard ratios showed that cachexia was adversely associated with overall survival (HR 1.46, 95 per cent c.i.: 1.31-1.60, P < 0.001). Meta-analysis of proportions identified decreased overall survival at 1-, 3- and 5-years in cachectic cohorts. Pre-treatment cachexia was not a predictor of disease-free survival and further data are required to establish its influence on postoperative mortality. The proportion of patients with stage III/IV disease was a significant moderator of between-study heterogeneity. Cachexia may have a greater influence on overall survival in studies where more patients have a locally advanced malignancy.

CONCLUSION: Pre-treatment cachexia adversely influences overall survival following resection of an oesophagogastric malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe British journal of surgery
Early online date1 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Aug 2023


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