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Postchemoradiation laparoscopic resection and intraoperative electron-beam radiation boost in locally advanced rectal cancer: long-term outcomes

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In selected patients with rectal cancer, laparoscopic surgery is as safe as open surgery, with similar resection margins and completeness of resection. In addition, recovery is faster after laparoscopic surgery. We analyzed long-term outcomes in a group of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) treated with preoperative therapy followed by laparoscopic surgery and intraoperative electron-beam radiotherapy (IOERT).

Methods and materials

From June 2005 to December 2010, 125 LARC patients were treated with 2 induction courses of FOLFOX-4 (oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2/d1, intravenous leucovorin at 200 mg/m2/d1–2, and an intravenous bolus of 5-fluorouracil 400 mg/m2/d1–2) and preoperative chemoradiation (4,500–5,040 cGy) followed by total mesorectal excision (laparoscopic, 35 %; open surgery, 65 %) and a presacral boost with IOERT.


Patients in the laparoscopic surgery group lost less blood (median 200 vs 350 mL, p < 0.01) and had a shorter hospital stay (7 vs 11 days; p = 0.02) than those in the open surgery group. Laparoscopic procedures were shorter than open surgery procedures (270 vs 302 min; p = 0.67). Postoperative morbidity (32 vs 44 %; p = 0.65), RTOG grade ≥3 acute toxicity (25 vs 25 %; p = 0.97), and RTOG grade ≥3 chronic toxicity (7 vs 9 %; p = 0.48) were similar in the laparoscopy and open surgery groups. The median follow-up time for the entire cohort of patients was 59.5 months (range 7.8–90); no significant differences were observed between the groups in locoregional control (HR 0.91, p = 0.89), disease-free survival (HR 0.80, p = 0.65), and overall survival (HR 0.67, p = 0.52).


Postchemoradiation laparoscopically assisted IOERT is feasible, with an acceptable risk of postoperative complications, shorter hospital stay, and similar long-term outcomes when compared to the open surgery approach.

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This study was supported in part by a Grant from the Health Institute of Research Carlos III, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (project code PI11-02908).

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Correspondence to Claudio V. Sole.

Additional information

Felipe A. Calvo and Claudio V. Sole have contributed equally to the manuscript.

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Calvo, F.A., Sole, C.V., Serrano, J. et al. Postchemoradiation laparoscopic resection and intraoperative electron-beam radiation boost in locally advanced rectal cancer: long-term outcomes. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 139, 1825–1833 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-013-1506-1

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  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Intraoperative radiation therapy
  • Locally advanced rectal cancer