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Feasibility of Extended Dissection of Lateral Pelvic Lymph Nodes During Laparoscopic Total Mesorectal Excision in Patients with Locally Advanced Lower Rectal Cancer: A Single-Center Pilot Study After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

Yuki Aisu, Shigeru Kato, Yoshio Kadokawa, Daiki Yasukawa, Yusuke Kimura, Yuichi Takamatsu, Taku Kitano, Tomohide Hori

(Department of Digestive Surgery, Tenri Hospital, Tenri, Nara, Japan)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:3966-3977

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909163


BACKGROUND: The feasibility of additional dissection of the lateral pelvic lymph nodes (LPLNs) in patients undergoing total mesorectal excision (TME) combined with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) is controversial. The use of laparoscopic surgery is also debated. In the present study, we evaluated the utility of laparoscopic dissection of LPLNs during TME for patients with LARC and metastatic LPLNs after NAC, based on our experience with 19 cases.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-five patients with LARC with swollen LPLNs who underwent laparoscopic TME and LPLN dissection were enrolled in this pilot study. The patients were divided into 2 groups: those patients with NAC (n=19) and without NAC (n=6). Our NAC regimen involved 4 to 6 courses of FOLFOX plus panitumumab, cetuximab, or bevacizumab.
RESULTS: The operative duration was significantly longer in the NAC group than in the non-NAC group (648 vs. 558 minutes, respectively; P=0.022). The rate of major complications, defined as grade ≥3 according to the Clavien-Dindo classification, was similar between the 2 groups (15.8% vs. 33.3%, respectively; P=0.4016). No conversion to conventional laparotomy occurred in either group. In the NAC group, a histopathological complete response was obtained in 2 patients (10.5%), and a nearly complete response (Tis N0 M0) was observed in one patient (5.3%). Although the operation time was prolonged in the NAC group, the other perioperative factors showed no differences between the 2 groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic LPLN dissection is feasible in patients with LARC and clinically swollen LPLNs, even after NAC.

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