IMAJ | volume 13
Journal 5, May 2011
Background: Major changes in the evaluation and treatment of curable colorectal cancer (CRC) have emerged in the last two decades. These changes have led to better patient outcome over time.
Objectives: To evaluate the impact of these changes as reflected in the difference in long-term outcome of a consecutive group of recently laparoscopically operated curable CRC patients and a consecutive group of patients operated 20 years earlier in the same department.
Methods: Data of the new group were taken from our prospectively collected data of patients who underwent elective laparoscopic surgery for CRC in recent years. Data regarding patients operated on 20 years ago were retrieved from previous prospectively collected data on the long-term survival of CRC patients operated in the same department.
Results: The recently operated group comprised 203 patients and the previous group 199 patients. Perioperative mortality was 0.5% in the new group versus 1.5% in the old group (not significant). There were more early-stage and more proximal tumors in the recently operated group. A Kaplan-Meier 5-year survival analysis revealed no difference between stage I patients of the two groups. However, there was a significant increase in 5-year survival in the new group for stage II (85% vs. 63%, P = 0.004) and for stage III patients (57% vs. 39%, P = 0.01). This trend was maintained after removing the rectal cancer patients from the calculated data.
Conclusions: We have demonstrated improved survival for stage II and III CRC patients over a 20-year period in the same medical center. This change most likely reflects advances both in imaging techniques leading to more accurate staging and in adjuvant treatments.