Surgical treatment of locally recurrent rectal carcinoma

Federico Bozzetti, Lucio Bertario, Carlo Rossetti, Leandro Gennari, Salvatore Andreola, Dario Baratti, Alessandro Gronchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: This study was performed to analyze the outcomes of patients with local (pelvic) recurrence (following radical surgery for recta/cancer) who subsequently underwent a new operation. METHODS: Forty-five patients (19 percent of 213 local recurrences) were explored surgically because the disease was deemed to be confined to the pelvis with a limited extension and, therefore, amenable to surgical cure. RESULTS: Only 21 of the 45 patients who underwent surgical exploration had an oncologically radical operation (R0). In the remaining 24 patients, either a simple exploration or palliation or a nonradical procedure (R1-R2) was performed. In the R0 group, there was a 19 percent five-year survival rate vs. a 0 percent rate in the R1-R2 group (median survival, 4 months). Site of recurrence (anastomosis vs. other sites) was statistically associated with a higher chance of long-term survival for those who underwent an R0 operation. CONCLUSIONS: The prognosis of locally recurrent rectal cancer is dismal; less than 10 percent of all patients who underwent surgical treatment benefit from reoperation with an overall survival for five years. On the basis of these results, we no longer consider the surgical approach as the primary option for treating locally recurrent rectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1421-1424
Number of pages4
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997


  • Local recurrence
  • Pelvic recurrence
  • Rectal cancer
  • Reoperation of recurrent rectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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