In a nutshell
This study compared oncological adequateness (OA) and surgery outcomes between open and laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery. Researchers suggested that laparoscopic surgery (LS) is associated with good surgical and oncological outcomes.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Of these, 35% are rectal cancers. The standard treatment is surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. OA is when there is a distance greater than 1mm between cancer spread and the line of tumor removal. Patients with OA have improved local control of cancer and better long-term survival.
LS involves inserting a tube with a camera through a small body opening to remove the tumor. This method is less invasive, is associated with better short-term outcomes and similar survival when compared to open surgery (OS). However, the rate of change from LS to OS is still high. These types of surgeries can be more difficult especially in lower tumors in a narrow pelvis. The effectiveness and OA of LS compared to OS in patients with rectal cancer is still not clear.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 148 patients with rectal cancer. Of these, 98 received OS, and 50 received LS. They were followed up for an average of 37 months.
No significant differences were reported in terms of surgery time and complications after surgery between groups. Patients from the LS group had an earlier intake of soft food, first bowel movement, and a shorter hospital stay compared to the OS group. OA has achieved in 86.7% of patients in the OS group and in 88% of the LS group.
Clear margins and tissue integrity were similar between both groups. No significant differences were reported between both groups in local recurrence (when cancer comes back). 3-year overall survival (82.9% with OS and 91.4% with LS) and disease-free survival (73.1% with OS and 74.3% with LS) were also similar.
The bottom line
This study concluded that LS for rectal cancer was associated with good outcomes and OA.
The fine print
This study was based on medical records and included a limited number of participants. Information might be missing which can affect the results. Further studies with a bigger population are necessary.
Published By :
International Journal of Colorectal Disease
Jan 22, 2021
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