Background: The oncologic safety of transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME) for rectal cancer has recently been questioned, with high local recurrence (LR) rates reported in Dutch and Norwegian experiences. The objective of this study was to evaluate the oncologic safety of TaTME in a large cohort of patients with primary rectal cancer, primarily in terms of LR, disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS). Patients and Methods: This was a prospective international registry cohort study, including all patients who underwent TaTME for primary rectal adenocarcinoma from February 2010 through December 2018. The main endpoints were 2-year LR rate, pattern of LR, and independent risk factors for LR. Secondary endpoints included 2-year DFS and OS rates. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to calculate actuarial LR, DFS, and OS rates. Results: A total of 2,803 patients receiving primary TaTME were included, predominantly men (71%) with a median age of 65 years (interquartile ratio, 57–73 years). After a median follow-up of 24 months (interquartile ratio, 12–38 months), the 2-year LR rate was 4.8% (95% CI, 3.8%–5.8%) with a unifocal LR pattern in 99 of 103 patients (96%). Independent risk factors for LR were male sex, threatened resection margin on baseline MRI, pathologic stage III cancer, and a positive circumferential resection margin on final histopathology. The 2-year DFS and OS rates were 77% (95% CI, 75%–79%) and 92% (95% CI, 91%–93%), respectively. Conclusions: This largest TaTME cohort to date supports the oncologic safety of the TaTME technique for rectal cancer in patients treated in units that contributed to an international registry, with an acceptable 2-year LR rate and a predominantly unifocal LR pattern.
Local Recurrence and Disease-Free Survival After Transanal Total Mesorectal Excision: Results From the International TaTME Registry
Sapho X. Roodbeen, Marta Penna, Susan van Dieren, Brendan Moran, Paris Tekkis, Pieter J. Tanis, Roel Hompes, and on behalf of the International TaTME Registry Collaborative
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
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.
Evaluation of a Completion Total Mesorectal Excision in Patients After Local Excision of Rectal Cancer: A Word of Caution
Julia T. van Groningen, Pieter van Hagen, Rob A.E.M. Tollenaar, Jurriaan B. Tuynman, Perla J. Marang-van de Mheen, Pascal G. Doornebosch, Pieter J. Tanis, Eelco J.R. de Graaf, and on behalf of the Dutch Colorectal Audit
Background: According to Dutch guidelines, locally excised, low-risk, pT1 or ypT0–1 rectal cancer should not necessarily be followed by completion total mesorectal excision (cTME) in contrast to rectal cancers with higher T stages or unfavorable features. This study evaluated cTME after local excision at a national level with possible determinants for decision-making. Methods: All patients in the Dutch Colorectal Audit (DCRA) who underwent local excision of rectal cancer between 2012 and 2015 were included. Guideline adherence for performing cTME was determined with univariate and multivariate analyses to identify factors related to noncompliance. Results: According to the guidelines, of 530 included patients, cTME was indicated in 283 (53%), and among those, was performed in 82 (29%). Guideline adherence for performing cTME improved significantly (P<.001), from 10% in 2012 to 44% in 2015. Lower Charlson comorbidity index in patients with high-risk pT1 rectal cancer and younger patients (aged 61–70 years vs ≥80 years) with pT≥2 rectal cancer were associated with increased performance of cTME (odds ratio [OR], 13.50; 95% CI, 1.39–131.32, and OR, 6.25; 95% CI, 1.83–21.31, respectively). Conclusions: In this population-based study from the Netherlands, only a minority of patients underwent cTME after local excision of rectal cancer with pathologic features indicating the need for further treatment according to the guidelines. Although the percentage of patients undergoing cTME increased over time, the study indicated a tendency toward rectal-preserving treatment with potential oncologic risks.
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.