Objectives: The decision to perform secondary surgery after endoscopic resection of T1 colorectal cancer (CRC) depends on the risk of lymph node metastasis and the risk of incomplete resection. We aimed to examine the incidence and risk factors for incomplete endoscopic resection of T1 CRC after a macroscopic radical endoscopic resection.
Methods: Data from patients treated between 2000 and 2014 with macroscopic complete endoscopic resection of T1 CRC were collected from 13 hospitals. Incomplete resection was defined as local recurrence at the polypectomy site during follow-up or malignant tissue in the surgically resected specimen in case secondary surgery was performed. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to analyze factors associated with incomplete resection.
Results: In total, 877 patients with a median follow-up time of 36.5 months (interquartile range 16.0-68.3) were included, in whom secondary surgery was performed in 358 patients (40.8%). Incomplete resection was observed in 30 patients (3.4%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3-4.6%). Incomplete resection rate was 0.7% (95% CI 0-2.1%) in low-risk T1 CRC vs. 4.4% (95% CI 2.7-6.5%) in high-risk T1 CRC (P=0.04). Overall adverse outcome rate (incomplete resection or metastasis) was 2.1% (95% CI 0-5.0%) in low-risk T1 CRC vs. 11.7% (95% CI 8.8-14.6%) in high-risk T1 CRC (P=0.001). Piecemeal resection (adjusted odds ratio 2.60; 95% CI 1.20-5.61, P=0.02) and non-pedunculated morphology (adjusted odds ratio 2.18; 95% CI 1.01-4.70, P=0.05) were independent risk factors for incomplete resection. Among patients in whom no additional surgery was performed, who developed recurrent cancer, 41.7% (95% CI 20.8-62.5%) died as a result of recurrent cancer.
Conclusions: In the absence of histological high-risk factors, a 'wait-and-see' policy with limited follow-up is justified. Piecemeal resection and non-pedunculated morphology are independent risk factors for incomplete endoscopic resection of T1 CRC.