Short- and Long-Term Oncological Outcome After Rectal Cancer Surgery: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Open Versus Laparoscopic Rectal Cancer Surgery
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While several trials have compared laparoscopic to open surgery for colon cancer showing similar oncological results, oncological quality of laparoscopic versus open rectal resection is not well investigated.
A systematic literature search for randomized controlled trials was conducted in MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, and Embase. Qualitative and quantitative meta-analyses of short-term (rate of complete resections, number of harvested lymph nodes, circumferential resection margin positivity) and long-term (recurrence, disease-free and overall survival) oncologic results were conducted.
Fourteen randomized controlled trials were identified including 3528 patients. Patients in the open resection group had significantly more complete resections (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.51–0.97; p = 0.03) and a higher number of resected lymph nodes (mean difference − 0.92; 95% CI − 1.08 to 0.75; p < 0.001). No differences were detected in the frequency of positive circumferential resection margins (OR 0.82; 95% CI 0.62–1.10; p = 0.18). Furthermore, no significant differences of long-term oncologic outcome parameters after 5 years including locoregional recurrence (OR 0.95; 95% CI 0.44–2.05; p = 0.89), disease-free survival (OR 1.16; 95% CI 0.84–1.58; p = 0.36), and overall survival (OR 1.04; 95% CI 0.76–1.41; p = 0.82) were found. Most trials exhibited a relevant risk of bias and several studies provided no information on the surgical expertise of the participating surgeons.
Differences in oncologic outcome between laparoscopic and open rectal surgery for rectal cancer were detected for the complete resection rate and the number of resected lymph nodes in favor of the open approach. No statistically significant differences were found in oncologic long-term outcome parameters.
KeywordsRectal cancer Laparoscopic surgery Systematic review Meta-analysis
HN, PH, RS, BPM, ALM, and TS are responsible for the conception and design of the study. HN, PH, RS, ALM, and TS performed the acquisition and analysis of the data and drafted the manuscript. YK, MKD, JK, MS, BPM, AU, and MWB offered substantial contributions to the interpretation of the data and critically revised the manuscript. All authors gave their final approval of this version of the manuscript and are accountable for all aspects of the work.
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Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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