12/22/2008 - News

New Study Supports Use of Less Invasive Colon Cancer Surgery

By: June Chen, MD


Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery, is a surgical technique in which abdominal operations are performed through small incisions rather than larger traditional incisions. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include less scarring, less pain, and shorter hospital stays. According to an article published in The Lancet Oncology, laparoscopic surgery may be an acceptable alternative to open surgery for removal of solitary colon cancer .

Researchers From Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and their colleagues recruited 1076 colon cancer patients from 29 European hospitals in order to compare 3-year disease-free survival and overall survival after either laparoscopic or open tumor resection. The study participants were followed for an average of 53 months after surgery. The researchers found that the difference in disease-free survival between the laparoscopy and open surgery groups was small. Based on this finding, they felt that it was reasonable to implement laparoscopic surgery into daily practice for the treatment of solitary colon cancers.

It's important to note that, because this study was a non-inferiority trial, it was not designed to determine which surgical technique was superior. Further studies are needed to determine whether laparoscopic surgery actually results in better patient outcomes than open surgery for solitary colon cancers.


The Lancet Oncology. Early Online Publication, 12 December 2008.

Created on: 12/22/2008
Reviewed on: 12/22/2008

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