Background: The circumferential resection margin (CRM) is a significant prognostic factor for local recurrence, distant metastasis, and survival after rectal cancer surgery. Therefore, availability of this parameter is essential. Although the Dutch total mesorectal excision trial raised awareness about CRM in the late 1990s, quality assurance on pathologic reporting was not available until the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit (DSCA) started in 2009. The present study describes the rates of CRM reporting and involvement since the start of the DSCA and analyzes whether improvement of these parameters can be attributed to the audit. Methods: Data from the DSCA (2009–2013) were analyzed. Reporting of CRM and CRM involvement was plotted for successive years, and variations of these parameters were analyzed in a funnelplot. Predictors of CRM involvement were determined in univariable analysis and the independent influence of year of registration on CRM involvement was analyzed in multivariable analysis. Results: A total of 12,669 patients were included for analysis. The mean percentage of patients with a reported CRM increased from 52.7% to 94.2% (2009–2013) and interhospital variation decreased. The percentage of patients with CRM involvement decreased from 14.2% to 5.6%. In multivariable analysis, the year of DSCA registration remained a significant predictor of CRM involvement. Conclusions: After the introduction of the DSCA, a dramatic improvement in CRM reporting and a major decrease of CRM involvement after rectal cancer surgery have occurred. This study suggests that a national quality assurance program has been the driving force behind these achievements.
Reduced Circumferential Resection Margin Involvement in Rectal Cancer Surgery: Results of the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit
Lieke Gietelink, Michel W.J.M. Wouters, Pieter J. Tanis, Marion M. Deken, Martijn G. ten Berge, Rob A.E.M. Tollenaar, J. Han van Krieken, Mirre E. de Noo, and on behalf of the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Cancer Audit Group
Locally Advanced Colon Cancer: Evaluation of Current Clinical Practice and Treatment Outcomes at the Population Level
Charlotte E.L. Klaver, Lieke Gietelink, Willem A. Bemelman, Michel W.J.M. Wouters, Theo Wiggers, Rob A.E.M. Tollenaar, Pieter J. Tanis, and on behalf of the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit Group
Background: The goal of this study was to evaluate current clinical practice and treatment outcomes regarding locally advanced colon cancer (LACC) at the population level. Methods: Data were used from the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit from 2009 to 2014. A total of 34,527 patients underwent resection for non-LACC and 6,918 for LACC, which was defined as cT4 and/or pT4 stage. LACC was divided into those with multivisceral resection (LACC-MV; n=3,385) and without (LACC-noMV; n=1,595). Guideline adherence, treatment strategy, and short-term outcomes were evaluated. Results: Guideline adherence was >90% regarding preoperative imaging and ≥80% regarding preoperative multidisciplinary team (MDT) discussion. In the elective setting, neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (chemoRT) was applied in 6.2% of the cT4 cases, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy in 4.0%. R0 resection rates were 99%, 91%, and 87% in patients with non-LACC, LACC-noMV, and LACC-MV, respectively (P<.001). A postoperative complicated course occurred in 17%, 25%, and 29% of patients (P<.001), and the 30-day/in-hospital mortality rate was 3.6%, 6.0%, and 5.4% (P<.001) in the non-LACC, LACC-noMV, and LACC-MV groups, respectively. Discussion/Conclusions: This population-based study suggests that there is room for improvement in the treatment of LACC, with regard to short-term surgical outcomes and oncologic outcomes (ie, radicality of resection). Improvement might be expected from optimized preoperative imaging, routine MDT discussions, and further specialization and centralization of care. Optimized use of neoadjuvant treatment strategies based on already available and upcoming evidence is likely to result in a better margin status and thereby a better long-term prognosis. Furthermore, lower R0 resection rates in an emergency setting suggest a potential role for bridging strategies in order to enable optimal staging, neoadjuvant treatment, and elective surgery by a surgical team most optimally qualified for the procedure.