OBJECTIVE: This multicentre observational study aimed to compare outcomes of anterior resection (AR) and abdominal perineal resection (APR) in patients treated for rectal cancer.
METHODS: Between March 2006 and March 2009 a cohort of 1,598 patients diagnosed with low and mid rectal cancer were operated on in the first 38 hospitals included in the Spanish Rectal Cancer Project. In 1,343 patients the procedure was considered curative. Clinical and outcome results were analysed in relation to the type of surgery performed. All patients were included in the analysis of clinical results. The analysis of outcomes was performed only on patients treated by a curative procedure.
RESULTS: Of the 1,598 patients, 1,139 (71.3%) underwent an AR and 459 (28.7%) an APR. In 1,343 patients the procedure was performed with curative intent; from these 973 (72.4%) had an AR and 370 (27.6%) an APR. There were no differences between AR and APR in mortality (29 vs. 18 patients; P=.141). After a median follow up of 60.0 [49.0-60.0] months there were no differences in local recurrence (HR 1.68 [0.87-3.23]; P=.12), metastases (HR 1.31 [0.98-1.76]; P=.064). However, overall survival was worse after APR (HR 1.37 [1.00-1.86]; P=.048).
CONCLUSION: This study did not identify abdominoperineal excision as a determinant of local recurrence or metastases. However, patients treated by this operation have a decreased overall survival.
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