There is debate regarding the appropriate use of transanal endoscopic microsurgery for rectal cancer.
This study analyzed our single-center experience with transanal endoscopic microsurgery for early rectal cancer.
Medical charts of patients who underwent transanal endoscopic microsurgery were reviewed to determine lesion characteristics, as well as operative and treatment characteristics. Complications and recurrences were recorded.
The study was conducted at a single academic medical center.
Patients with early stage cancer (T1 or T2, N0, and M0) of the rectum were included.
Local and overall recurrence and disease-specific survival were measured.
A total of 92 patients were analyzed. Median follow-up was 4.6 years. Negative margins were obtained in 98.9%. Length of stay was 1 day for 95.4% of patients. The complication rate was 10.9% (n = 10), including urinary retention at 4.3% (n = 4) and postoperative bleeding at 4.3% (n = 4). Preoperative staging included 54 at T1 (58.7%) and 38 at T2 (41.3%). Adjuvant therapy was recommended for all of the T2 and select T1 lesions with adverse features on histology. The final pathologic stages of tumors were ypT0 at 8.7% (n = 8), pT1 at 58.7% (n = 54), pT2 at 23.9% (n = 22), and ypT2 at 8.7% (n = 8). The 3-year local recurrence risk was 2.4% (SE = 1.7), and overall recurrence was 6.7% (SE = 2.9). There were no recurrences among patients with complete pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy. Mean time to recurrence was 2.5 years (SD = 1.43). A total of 89.2% of patients with very low tumors underwent curative resection without a permanent stoma (33/37). The 3-year disease-specific survival rate was 98.6% (95% CI, 90.4%–99.8%), and overall survival rate was 89.4% (95% CI, 79.9%–94.6%).
The study was limited by its single-center retrospective experience.
Transanal endoscopic microsurgery provides comparable oncologic outcomes to radical resection in properly selected patients with early rectal cancer. Sphincter preservation rates approach 90% even in patients with very distal rectal cancer.
1 Department of Surgery, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
2 Department of Biostatistics, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
Financial Disclosure: None reported.
Poster presentation at the meeting of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Boston, MA, May 30 to June 3, 2015.
Correspondence: Peter A. Cataldo, M.D., Smith 301, Department of Surgery, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT 05401. E-mail: email@example.com