In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of local vs radical surgery in patients with rectal cancer. Researchers suggested that local surgery is associated with better outcomes in certain patients with early cancers.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US. The standard treatment options for these patients include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
In radical surgery, the tumor and the surrounding tissue/organs are removed. However, for early cancers, there is the option for a local and less invasive surgery. In local surgery, laparoscopic methods can be used. This method consists in inserting a tube with a camera in the rectum to remove the tumor. This surgery is also associated with less short- and long-term complications. However, its effectiveness is still not clear in early rectal cancers.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed 16 other studies. These studies included information about patients with early rectal cancer treated with local or radical surgery.
Local surgery was associated with fewer complications than radical surgery. 6 out of 12 studies showed a higher recurrence (when the cancer comes back) rate in local surgery. This was seen mainly in tumors spread to the lymphatic nodes. In 7 of 15 studies, long-term survival was reduced when compared to radical surgery.
The bottom line
This study concluded that local surgery is a good option for certain patients with very early rectal cancer.
The fine print
This study did not separate different types of localized surgery. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Annals of Surgical Oncology
Apr 25, 2019
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