Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 377–382 | Cite as

Comparison between endoscopic laser and different surgical treatments for palliation of advanced rectal cancer

  • W. Tacke
  • S. Paech
  • W. Kruis
  • H. Stuetzer
  • J. M. Mueller
  • D. J. Ziegenhagen
  • E. Zehnter
Original Contributions


The results of different treatment modalities in 196 patients with rectal carcinoma were analyzed. Patients were treated by palliative endoscopic laser therapy (n=37), palliative surgery (n=42), and curative surgery (n=117). Laser therapy was successful for recanalization of the stenosis with 1.3 (range, one to five) sessions. Bleeding stopped always after a single session. If necessary, treatment was repeated monthly. Good results were seen in 35/37 patients (95 percent). They received an average of four sessions during their remaining lifetime, the median of which was eight months. No morbidity and no therapy-related mortality occurred. Palliative surgery (expanded and restricted resections) showed good results in 41/42 patients (98 percent). Morbidity was 3/42 (7 percent); mortality was 1/42 (2 percent). The median survival was 14 months for local surgical treatment and 6.3 months for deep anterior rectal resection and for abdominoperineal (Dixon's) resection. No significant difference (P=0.15) in survival times between the palliatively treated patient groups could be detected. Survival prognosis was determined by tumor stage and outcome. In the curative (outcome R0) resection patients, morbidity and mortality were each 9/117 (8 percent). The threeyear survival rate was 80 percent. If curative resection is impossible, laser therapy should be considered as an alternative to palliative surgery because of less hospitalization and seemingly less side effects. The decision on the kind of palliation in patients with rectal carcinoma should be made with regard to the patient's quality of life.

Key words

Rectal carcinoma Laser therapy Palliative surgery Survival time 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Tacke
    • 1
  • S. Paech
    • 2
  • W. Kruis
    • 1
  • H. Stuetzer
    • 3
  • J. M. Mueller
    • 2
  • D. J. Ziegenhagen
    • 1
  • E. Zehnter
    • 1
  1. 1.Medizinische Klinik IUniversität KölnKölnGermany
  2. 2.Chirurgische KlinikUniversität KölnKölnGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Medizinische Dokumentation und StatistikUniversität KölnKölnGermany

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