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Tumori. 1997 Nov-Dec;83(6):907-11.

Impact of distal clearance margin on oncologic outcome after restorative resection of the rectum.

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Division of Surgery of the Digestive Tract, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.


There is considerable controversy about the distal clearance margin that needs to be maintained beyond the extent of a rectal tumor in order to reduce the risk of local recurrence. We investigated the rate of local recurrence, distant metastases and survival in 87 patients who had undergone radical restorative resection of the rectum for cancer and had been followed up for a median period of over 6 years, and we analyzed the statistical relation (log-rank test for trend) with the length of the distal margin. The distal margin length was divided into three categories: 1 cm, 2 cm, and > or = 3 cm. No significant correlation was found between the length of the distal clearance margin and the oncologic outcome. Taken together, our data suggest that if the resection line distally falls on healthy tissue, there is no need to resect additional rectum in order to achieve a better outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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