Background: To determine surgical, survival and quality of life outcomes across different tumour streams and lessons learned over 28 years.
Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing pelvic exenteration at a single, high volume, referral hospital, between 1994 and 2022 were included. Patients were grouped according to their tumour type at presentation as follows, advanced primary rectal cancer, other advanced primary malignancy, locally recurrent rectal cancer, other locally recurrent malignancy and non-malignant indications. The main outcomes included, resection margins, postoperative morbidity, long-term overall survival, and quality of life outcomes. Non-parametric statistics and survival analyses were performed to compare outcomes between groups.
Results: Of the 1023 pelvic exenterations performed, 981 (95.9%) unique patients were included. Most patients underwent pelvic exenteration due to locally recurrent rectal cancer (N = 321, 32.7%) or advanced primary rectal cancer (N = 286, 29.2%). The rates of clear surgical margins (89.2%; P < 0.001) and 30-days mortality were higher in the advanced primary rectal cancer group (3.2%; P = 0.025). The 5-year overall survival rates were 66.3% in advanced primary rectal cancer and 44.6% in locally recurrent rectal cancer. Quality of life outcomes differed across groups at baseline, but generally had good trajectories thereafter. International benchmarking revelled excellent comparative outcomes.
Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate excellent outcomes overall, but significant differences in surgical, survival and quality of life outcomes across patients undergoing pelvic exenteration due to different tumour streams. The data reported in this manuscript can be utilized by other centres as benchmarking as well as proving both subjective and objective outcome details to support informed decision-making for patients.
Keywords: cohort study; pelvic exenteration; quality of life; surgical outcomes; survival.
© 2023 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.