, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 2074-2075
Date: 05 Feb 2010

Laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer: the standard of care?

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In a recent issue of the Surgical Endoscopy, Miyajima et al. [1] reported their results with laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer. Although theirs was a retrospective study with no level 1 evidence from randomized controlled trials, the data provided by authors still may be important and worthy of consideration.

In the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, the quality of surgery plays a central role in achieving both good quality of life and favorable oncologic outcomes [2]. For example, appropriate lymph node dissection seems to be important for reducing locoregional recurrence. Although controversy still exists, at least 15 or, according to others, 20 lymph nodes should be resected and pathohistologically examined for accurate nodal staging, which is important for adjuvant treatment decisions [37].

Particularly for rectal cancer, surgical quality strongly affects quality of life and survival. Total mesorectal excision, sphincter-preserving surgery, and sigmoid mesenteric lymph node