In a nutshell
This study investigated the association between blood transfusions (BT) and inflammation after surgery on the outcomes of patients with colorectal cancer. Researchers suggested that blood transfusion was associated with poorer outcomes for these patients.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide. The standard treatment involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
A significant number of patients undergoing colorectal surgery receive BT. BT is associated with complications after surgery, such as infection. They are also associated with recurrence. It has been suggested that BT stops the immune system to attack both bacteria and cancer cells.
Prior studies suggested that there is increased inflammation in the body after colorectal surgery. This is associated with complications after surgery and decreased survival. It is still not clear if BTs are associated with this inflammatory response of the body.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 544 patients with colorectal cancer. Of these, 86 (16%) received a BT in the period around the surgery. Inflammatory markers such as C reactive protein (CRP), survival, and complications were evaluated.
Patients in the BT group had an increased hospital stay (12 days) when compared with no BT group (7 days). These patients also had lower albumin (24 g/L; indicates inflammation), when compared to the no BT group (27 g/L). Patients in the BT group were 3.28 times more at risk of having complications after surgery. These patients were also 3.18 times more at risk of poorer overall survival.
The bottom line
This study concluded that BT was associated with inflammation, complications and poorer survival after colorectal cancer surgery.
The fine print
This study was based on medical records. Some information might have been incomplete. This might affect the results.
Published By :
Annals of Surgical Oncology
Oct 29, 2019
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