Results of a phase 2 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) clinical pathway in patients with early-stage gastric cancer showed that nearly 80% of patients were discharged on postoperative day 4. The findings from this study were published in the Journal of Surgical Oncology.1

Although the implementation of ERAS clinical pathways, designed to shorten postoperative recovery time, has become more common in the setting of early-stage colorectal cancer, the risks and benefits of such an approach in early-stage gastric cancer have not been well established.

This single-arm, open-label study ( Identifier: NCT01642953) conducted at a single center in Korea prospectively enrolled 133 patients with early-stage gastric cancer scheduled to undergo subtotal gastrectomy using minimally invasive surgery followed by inclusion in an ERAS clinical pathway program.

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Perioperative management approaches characterizing this ERAS clinical pathway included early ambulation, introduction of a liquid diet and a soft blended diet on postoperative days 2 and 3, respectively, as well as hospital discharge on postoperative day 4.

The primary study endpoint was the ERAS clinical pathway completion rate, with secondary study endpoints including 30-day rates of postoperative complications, readmission, and mortality.