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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.04.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 20

Journal 1, January 2018
pages: 30-33

The Impact of Surgeons: Pathologists Dialog on Lymph Node Evaluation of Colorectal Cancer Patients

Summary

Background:

Lymph node (LN) retrieval and assessment is essential for accurate staging and treatment planning in colorectal cancer (CRC). According to U.S. National Cancer Institute recommendations, the minimal number of LNs needed for accurately staging of node-negative CRC is 12. Awareness and implementation of the guidelines has been shown to improve after assigning an opinion leader who has a special interest in CRC.

Objectives:

To evaluate the impact of dialogue between surgeons and pathologists in LN evaluation.

Methods:

Consecutively treated CRC patients at the Department of Surgery B at Rambam Medical Center from January 1, 2000 through July 30, 2005 were identified from hospital discharge files. Demographic, surgical, and pathological data were extracted. Patients were divided into two groups. Group I patients underwent surgery before the initiation of a structured surgical oncology service (January 1, 2000 to October 30, 2004). Group II patients underwent surgery after the initiation of the service (November 1, 2004 to July 30, 2005).

Results:

The study comprised 212 patients (Group I: n=170; Group II: n=42). The median number of LNs examined was 9 in Group I and 14 in Group II (P = 0.003). Only 35% of patients in Group I received adequate LN evaluation compared to 79% in Group II (P = 0.0001). Patients with left-sided or rectal cancer were less likely to receive adequate LN evaluation than patients with right-sided cancers.

Conclusions:

A durable improvement in LN evaluation was realized through a multi-pronged change initiative aimed at both surgeons and pathologists.

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