Medline: 8831547

Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 39(10, Suppl): S53-S58, 1996.

Early results of laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer: retrospective analysis of 372 patients treated by Clinical Outcomes of Surgical Therapy (COST) Study Group.

Fleshman JW, Nelson H, Peters WR, et al.


This study was undertaken to determine the early experience of the embers of the COST Study Group with colorectal cancer treated by laparoscopic approaches.

A retrospective review was performed of all patients with colorectal cancer treated with laparoscopy by the COST Study Group before August 1994. Tumor site, stage, differentiation, procedure completion, presence of recurrence (local, distant, trocar site), and cause of death were analyzed.

A total of 372 patients with adenocarcinoma of the colon and rectum were treated by laparoscopic approach between October 1991 and August 1994 (170 men and 192 women): right colectomy, 170; sigmoid colectomy, 55; low anterior resection, 56; abdominoperineal resection, 44; left colectomy, 22; colostomy, 8; total colectomy, 6; transverse colectomy, 7; exploration, 2. Conversion to an open procedure was required in 15.6 percent of cases. Operative mortality was 2 percent. Tumor characteristics were as follows: TNM state: I, 40 percent; II, 25 percent; III, 18 percent; IV, 17 percent; Differentiation: well-moderate, 88 percent; poor, 12 percent; carcinomatosis, 5 percent. Local (3.6 percent) and distant implantation occurred in four patients (1.1 percent). Only one of these patients died a cancer-related death (Stage III at 36 months). Cancer-related death rates increased with increasing stage of tumor: I, -4 percent; II, 17 percent; III, 31 percent; IV, 70 percent.

A laparoscopic approach to colorectal cancer results in early outcome after treatment that is comparable with conventional therapy for colorectal cancer. A randomized trial is needed to compare long-term outcomes of open and laparoscopic approaches with colorectal cancer.

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Dr. G. Quade