, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 2662-2664
Date: 23 May 2009

Beyond quality-of-life improvement: how robotic surgery for low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision also may improve oncologic outcomes

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High-quality evidence for laparoscopic colectomy used to treat resectable stages 1–3 colon cancer has demonstrated substantial quality of life (QOL) without any worsening of oncologic outcomes. But evidence for the safety and efficiency of either laparoscopically or robotically assisted low anterior resection is scarce [1].

Minimally invasive surgery, either laparoscopic or robotic, improves QOL. But beyond this, is there any probability of improving also recurrence-free, overall survival and even projecting a cure?

Hellan et al. [2] in a recent issue of Surgical Endoscopy reported on the second generation of robotic surgery. However, multiple challenges need to be overcome.

Can robotic surgery replace open surgery in the treatment of gastric cancer? What are the challenges, benefits, and risks for patients, surgeons, society, public and private insurance, and public health? These are crucial questions considering the dramatic increase of cancer by 55% projected for 2020.

Interest in robot ...