Purpose: To assess the prognostic significance of clinicopathological factors, especially histological parameters of new Jass classification, following sphincter-sparing total mesorectal excision (TME) for high-risk rectal cancer.
Material and methods: Forty-five consecutive patients treated with curative intent in 1998-1999 due to rectal cancer in Dukes stage B and C were studied prospectively. All of them underwent anterior resection with TME technique. Prognostic value was evaluated by the impact on five-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) in uni- and multivariate analysis. Only factors significant in univariate analysis entered the multivariate regression model. P value <0.05 was stated as a significance limit.
Results: Regarding traditional clinico-pathological factors patient age, tumor site, differentiation grade, mucinous histology and the extent of direct tumor penetration did not significantly affect survival rates. Only the lymph nodes status was associated with prognosis with statistical importance (negative vs positive, RFS: 53.8 +/- 10.0% vs 26.3 +/- 10.4%, respectively). Considering the additional parameters of Jass classification the character of invasive margin of the tumor did not reveal the important predictive value although the lymphocytic tumor infiltration was significantly related to patient outcome (presence vs absence, RFS: 63.6 +/- 15.2% vs 37.5 +/- 8.7%, respectively). In multivariate analysis the only one statistically important and independent predictive parameter was the lymph nodes status.
Conclusions: Lymph nodes metastases remain the most important prognostic factor after anterior resection with TME for Dukes B and C rectal cancer. From variables included into Jass classification the absence of lymphocytic infiltration of the tumor can be helpful to identify patients with enhanced risk of oncological relapse.