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A decline in survival rates in stage IV gastric cancer coincides with the increased use of chemotherapy rather than radiation and surgery, researchers found.

One-year survival after diagnosis of stage IV gastric cancer declined from 23.8 to 22.6 percent, according to an analysis of data from the National Cancer Data Base comparing the periods 1994 to 1997 and 1998 to 2002. Five-year survival went from 6 to 2.9 percent.

The use of surgical resection to treat the condition declined from 31.2 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2008 (P<0.0001) and the use of radiation therapy dropped from 20 to 18.5 percent (P=0.0009), Anna Mary Leung, MD, of the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., and colleagues reported here at the Multidisciplinary Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

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