Retrospective analysis of safety and efficacy of enhanced recovery pathways in stage II-III colorectal cancer patients submitted to surgery and adjuvant therapy

ABSTRACT

Background: The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons is suggesting laparoscopic surgeries for colorectal cancer. Conventional perioperative procedures like long preoperative fasting and bowel procedures are not useful and harmful to patients undergoing surgeries for colorectal cancer. The objectives of the study were to compare surgery outcomes, hospital stays, and survival of patients who received fast-track (laparoscopy/open) surgical procedure followed by chemotherapy against those who received conventional (laparoscopy/open) surgical procedure followed by chemotherapy for colorectal cancer.

Methods: The study analyzes the outcomes of a total of 542 colorectal cancer (preoperative biopsies stage II or III) patients submitted to surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. The study cohort is retrospectively subdivided in 4 groups submitted to open or laparoscopic resection with or without fast-track protocol appliance and two different chemotherapy regimens. Patients who ended up being TNM stage I have not received the adjuvant chemotherapy.

Results: The fast-track surgical procedure had shorter total hospital stays and postoperative hospital stays than the conventional surgical procedures. Flatus resumption time, the time until first defecation, and intraoperative blood loss were shorter for the fast-track surgical procedures than the conventional surgical procedures. Those surgery outcomes were also shorter for the fast-track laparoscopy than the open fast-track. Resumption of a fluid diet and ambulation onset time were shorter for the fast-track surgical procedures than the conventional surgical procedures. The surgical checkpoints that were compliance by patient of fast-track surgeries were significantly fewer than those of the conventional surgeries. Clinically significant difference for QLQ-C30/CR38 score after chemotherapy was reported between patients who received open conventional surgeries and those patients who received fast-track laparoscopy (59.63 ± 2.26 score/patient vs. 71.67 ± 5.19 score/patient). There were no significant differences for the number of patients with any grade adverse effects (p = 0.431) or with grade 3-4 adverse effects (p = 0.858), and the disease-free and overall survival among cohorts.

Conclusions: The fast-track surgical procedure is effective and safe even in a multidisciplinary scenario as colorectal cancer treatment in which surgery is only a part of management.