Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minimally Invasive Surgery Shown Safe And Effective Treatment For Rectal Cancer

Date:
November 11, 2009
Source:
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Summary:
Laparoscopic surgery has been used in the treatment of intestinal disorders for close to 20 years, but its benefits have only recently begun to be extended to people with rectal cancer.

Laparoscopic surgery has been used in the treatment of intestinal disorders for close to 20 years, but its benefits have only recently begun to be extended to people with rectal cancer. In a prospective study of 103 patients who underwent straightforward or "hand-assisted" laparoscopic surgery for rectal cancer, a team of colon and rectal surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center has shown that the minimally invasive approach can be as effective as traditional open surgery in treating rectal cancers.

Related Articles


The advantages of laparoscopic and other minimally invasive surgical techniques are well known. After laparoscopic surgery, patients experience shorter hospital stays, smaller scars, far less pain and faster recovery, compared with open surgery. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell has offered these procedures for many years, and continues to be at the forefront of innovation, applying the minimally invasive approach to diseases and conditions once considered treatable mainly using open surgery techniques. Until recently, rectal cancer was one such disease -- and its treatment via laparoscopic surgery is still seen by some as controversial.

Rectal surgery, according to Dr. Jeffrey Milsom, chief of colon and rectal surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, is inherently more challenging than colon surgery. For one, the pelvic cavity of the body where the rectum lies, is a narrow space, making rectal tumors difficult to access. Surgical success depends not only on the complete removal of the cancerous tumor and repair of the rectum, but also on restoring continence. For these reasons, rectal cancer has been a difficult arena to apply advances in minimally invasive surgery.

Delaying matters further, initial reports on the use of laparoscopic surgery in patients with rectal cancer described a higher incidence of cancer-positive cells at the edges of removed tumors compared with open surgery, says Dr. Milsom. Early 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. That fact plus its relatively small sample size, lack of randomization, and relatively short follow-up period all point to the need for large, randomized studies before its findings can be considered definitive. Dr. Milsom reports that his surgical team is now participating in two such studies, one in collaboration with the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACSOG) and the other headed up by Dr. Lee and involving several other U.S. medical centers.

In the meantime, the group continues to explore new minimally invasive surgical techniques to improve clinical recovery even more significantly, including new stapling instruments, robotics, and innovative endoscopy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. "Minimally Invasive Surgery Shown Safe And Effective Treatment For Rectal Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110135417.htm>.
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. (2009, November 11). Minimally Invasive Surgery Shown Safe And Effective Treatment For Rectal Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110135417.htm
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College. "Minimally Invasive Surgery Shown Safe And Effective Treatment For Rectal Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110135417.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins