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Posted by on Feb 26, 2021 in Colorectal cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study compared the effectiveness of open surgery (OS) and robotic surgery (RS) in patients with rectal cancer. Researchers suggested that RS and OS provided similar treatment outcomes in these patients.

Some background

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancer worldwide. Rectal cancer makes up for one-third of these cases. Surgery is the standard treatment for these patients. Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to improve treatment outcomes.  

Prior studies showed that less invasive surgeries such as RS, and OS are similar in clinical outcomes after surgery. RS consists of using a robotic hands to perform the surgery to increase the precision during the procedure. It makes smaller incisions and a camera. RS decreases the risk of blood loss and extended recovery times. However, the outcomes of RS compared to the classic OS for rectal cancer are not fully clear.

Methods & findings

This study reviewed 14 other studies with information about 2711 patients with rectal cancer. All participants received either OS or RS. The main outcomes measured were complete tumor removal, positive margins (cancer cells present on the edges of removed bowel), and the number of removed lymph nodes.

Overall, no significant differences in after-surgery outcomes were observed between both groups. RS and OS provided similar outcomes in the complete removal of the tumor and positive margins, and the number of lymph nodes removed.

The bottom line

This study concluded that RS is associated with similar rectal cancer treatment outcomes compared to OS.

The fine print

Some of the trials reviewed in this study included a limited number of participants, which might affect the results. Further studies with bigger populations are necessary.

Published By :


Date :

Jan 14, 2021

Original Title :

Comparison of pathologic outcomes of robotic and open resections for rectal cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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