Background: Practice guidelines recommend en bloc multivisceral resection (MVR) for all involved organs in patients with locally advanced adherent colorectal cancer (LAACRC) to reduce local recurrence and improve survival. We found that MVR was performed in one-third of eligible American patients in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results cancer registry but that study could not identify factors amenable to quality improvement. This study was conducted to examine rates, and predictors of MVR among Canadian patients with LAACRC.
Methods: Rates of MVR were examined by observational study. Eligible patients were aged 20-74 years who had surgery for nonmetastatic LAACRC from July 1997 to December 2000. Patient, tumor, surgeon, and hospital characteristics were extracted from medical records. Summary statistics were compared by type of surgery (MVR, partial MVR, standard resection). To identify factors associated with MVR we analyzed operative notes and transcripts from interviews with general surgeons using standard qualitative methods.
Results: Factors associated with MVR included fewer years in practice, preoperative treatment planning, involvement of surgical consultants, and access to diagnostic imaging and systems to enable preoperative multidisciplinary planning. Judgments regarding the nature of peritumoral adhesions, resectability, and personal technical skill may mediate decision-making. Many surgeons would prefer to refer patients than undertake complicated, lengthy cases.
Conclusion: Further research is required to validate these findings in larger studies and among patients undergoing surgery for conditions other than LAACRC, and evaluate strategies to improve rates of MVR through enhanced individual awareness and system capacity.