Objective: To compare the perioperative systemic immunity of laparoscopy-assisted and open radical gastrectomy for gastric cancer.
Methods: Patients with gastric adenocarcinoma proven by endoscopy and biopsy were eligible, while patients with preoperative staging of T4, N2–3, or M1 were excluded. Eligible patients willing to undertake laparoscopic surgery in the consecutive cohort were assigned to the laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy (LAG) group, while concurrent patients were assigned to the conventional open gastrectomy (OG) group. All operations were performed with the intention of radical resection. Various immunological parameters were tested in peripheral venous blood collected at preoperative 1st day and postoperative 2nd day (POD2) and 7th day (POD7). SPSS 13.0 software was used for statistical analysis.
Results: Thirty patients were included, 15 each in the LAG and OG groups. The general characteristics and short-term outcomes (harvested lymph nodes number, hospital stay, complications, and mortality rate) of the two groups were comparable, but the operation time was significantly longer in LAG (P = 0.001). Moreover, intergroup comparisons indicated no significant differences between the groups in levels of neutrophils, T-lymphocytes, natural killer cells, IgG, IgM, IgA, C3, C4, interleukin-6, or interleukin-10 at any time point (P > 0.05). However, there was a gradual decrease in natural killer cell count in the LAG group up to POD7 (P = 0.008).
Conclusion: The changes in systemic immunity markers were comparable between laparoscopy-assisted and open gastrectomy for gastric cancer. However, there was a trend of suppression of natural killer cells in the laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy group.