Little is known regarding the prognostic impact of the signet ring cell (SRC) histotype on negative lymph nodes (LNs) in gastric cancer (GC). In this study, we aimed to investigate the differences between SRC and non-SRC GC patients without LN metastasis. The medical records of patients with GC who underwent gastrectomy at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Centre from 1996 to 2012 were reviewed to analyse the clinicopathologic characteristics associated with survival. A total of 480 cases of GC patients without LN metastasis were identified, which included 90 SRC GC patients and 390 non-SRC GC patients. Between the two groups, there were a host of significant differences in the American Joint Committee on Cancer, 7th edition (AJCC) stage. We found that SRC histology was correlated with a poor prognosis in terms of recurrence in node-negative GC patients and that SRC histologic analysis combined with AJCC staging maybe an effectual method for prediction of the recurrence rate. Additionally, we found that SRC GC presents a more dismal overall prognosis in patients with perineural or vascular invasion.
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