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Minimally invasive surgery shown safe and effective treatment for rectal cancer
Date:11/10/2009

rly data suggested that as a result, more patients could experience a local recurrence of their rectal cancer after laparoscopic surgery than open surgery. But the current study refutes these initial findings.

Between January 1999 and December 2006, three colon and rectal surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell (Dr. Milsom and his colleagues Dr. Toyooki Sonoda and Dr. Sang Lee) treated 103 patients with mid or low rectal cancer using an operation called total mesorectal excision (TME), performed via laparoscopic-assisted (LAP) or hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery (HALS). To gather the relevant data and analyze outcomes, Dr. Milsom and his team relied on inpatient and outpatient medical records, telephone interviews with patients, and standard actuarial survival calculations. Patients received regular follow-up for five years.

"More than 90 percent of the patients in our study were able to undergo laparoscopic surgery successfully," says Dr. Sonoda, one of the study's key surgeons. "We define 'success' in both the short- and long-term sense: More than 95 percent emerged with an intact and functioning rectum and, as expected after a minimally invasive procedure, recovered rapidly. None had cancer-positive tumor margins, which has been a major concern in the medical literature all along. In fact, after five years, overall survival has remained high at 91 percent, with more than 73 percent of patients completely free from disease."

"In terms of cancer cure and recovery," says Dr. Lee, the other key surgeon on the study, "these outcomes are at least as good as the best outcomes seen with open surgical techniques. And when you add in all the advantages of laparoscopic surgery, it seems clear that this is an approach that could evolve to become the surgical standard."

Reported earlier this year in the professional journal of the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons, the study was conducted at a single institution. T
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Contact: Linda Kamateh
lib9027@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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