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Ann Coloproctol. 2019 Aug;35(4):194-201. doi: 10.3393/ac.2018.10.18.2. Epub 2019 Aug 31.

Long-term Transanal Excision Outcomes in Patients With T1 Rectal Cancer: Comparative Analysis of Radical Resection.

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Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Transanal excision (TAE) is an alternative surgical procedure for early rectal cancer. This study compared long-term TAE outcomes, in terms of survival and local recurrence (LR), with total mesorectal excision (TME) in patients with pathologically confirmed T1 rectal cancer.


T1 rectal adenocarcinoma patients who underwent surgery from 1990 to 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients that were suspected to have preoperative lymph node metastasis were excluded. Demographics, recurrence, and survival were analyzed based on TAE and TME surgery.


Of 268 individuals, 61 patients (26%) underwent TAE, which was characterized by proximity to the anus, submucosal invasion depth, and lesion infiltration, compared with TME patients (P < 0.001-0.033). During a median follow-up of 10.4 years, 12 patients had systemic and/or LR. Ten-year cancer-specific survival in the TAE and TME groups was not significantly different (98% vs. 100%). However, the 10-year LR rate in the TAE group was greater than that of TME group (10% vs. 0%, P < 0.001). Although 5 of the 6 TAE patients with LR underwent salvage surgery, one of the patients eventually died. The TAE surgical procedure (hazard ratio, 19.066; P = 0.007) was the only independent risk factor for LR.


Although long-term survival after TAE was comparable to that after TME, TAE had a greater recurrence risk than TME. Thus, TAE should only be considered as an alternative surgical option for early rectal cancer in selected patients.


Colorectal surgery; Rectal neoplasms; Survival

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