Interobserver agreement of a gastric adenocarcinoma tumor regression grading system that incorporates assessment of lymph nodes

Andrianos Tsekrekos, Michael Vieth, Nelson Ndegwa, Adrian Bateman, Jean François Flejou, Heike I. Grabsch, Luca Mastracci, Sybren L. Meijer, Luca Saragoni, Kieran Sheahan, Jayant Shetye, Rhonda Yantiss, Lars Lundell, Sönke Detlefsen

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Perioperative chemotherapy is increasingly used in combination with surgery for the treatment of patients with locally advanced, resectable gastric cancer. Histologic tumor regression grade (TRG) has emerged as an important prognostic factor; however, a common standard for its evaluation is lacking. Moreover, the clinical significance of regressive changes in metastatic lymph nodes (LNs) remains unclear. We conducted an international study to examine the interobserver agreement of a TRG system that is based on the Becker system for the primary tumors and additionally incorporates regression grading in LNs. Twenty observers at different levels of experience evaluated the TRG in 60 histologic slides (30 primary tumors and 30 LNs) based on the following criteria: for primary tumors, grade 1 represented complete response (no residual tumor), grade 2 represented <10%, grade 3 represented 10-50%, and grade 4 represented >50% residual tumor, as described by Becker et al. For LNs, grade "a" represented complete, grade "b" represented partial, and grade "c" represented no regression. The interobserver agreement was estimated using the Kendall's coefficient of concordance (W). Regarding primary tumors, agreement was good irrespective of the level of experience, reaching a W-value of 0.70 overall, 0.71 among subspecialized, and 0.71 among nonsubspecialized observers. Regarding LNs, interobserver agreement was moderate to good, with W-values of 0.52 overall, 0.64 among subspecialized, and 0.45 among nonsubspecialized observers. These findings indicate that the combination of the Becker TRG system with a three-tiered grading of regression in LNs generates a system that is reproducible. Future studies should investigate whether the additional information of TRG in LNs adds to the prognostic value of histologic regression grading in gastric cancer specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Gastric cancer
  • Interobserver agreement
  • Lymph node metastasis
  • Neoadjuvant treatment
  • Tumor regression grade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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