In a nutshell
This study investigated the outcomes of patients with rectal cancer who received enhanced recovery pathway (ERP) in combination with surgery. Researchers suggested that ERP was associated with longer overall survival.
The standard treatment for rectal cancer is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, rectal surgery is associated with high rates of complications. Less invasive surgery options are being considered to treat these patients. Prior studies showed that less invasive methods are associated with better cancer outcomes and improved quality of life.
ERP is a patient-focused program that reduces their surgical stress response. It improves their body functions and helps in recovery. ERP programs may consist of things such as diet change or pain control. Although, this may improve the short-term outcomes of these patients, too little is known about the long-term impact.
Methods & findings
This study aims to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients with rectal cancer, after surgery and ERP.
This study included information about 600 patients with rectal cancer who underwent minimally invasive surgery. These patients then received ERP (320) or standard treatment (280). They were followed for an average of 20.7 months.
ERP was associated with fewer overall complications (34.7%) when compared to standard treatment (54.3%). Overall survival rate after 5 years was higher in the ERP group (91.4%) compared to the standard treatment group (81.7%). ?Patients in the ERP group had a 47% improvement in the odds of a better overall survival.
Age, male sex and surgery complications were found to be associated with poorer survival. No major differences were seen in disease-free survival (time from treatment to disease progression) in both ERP and standard treatment groups.
The bottom line
This study concluded that surgery combined with ERP was associated with fewer complications which may increase overall survival in patients with rectal cancer.
The fine print
This study included a short follow-up period. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
British Journal of Surgery
Mar 12, 2019
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