Article of interest: Oncological Outcomes After Anastomotic Leakage After Surgery for Colon or Rectal Cancer: Increased Risk of Local Recurrence

Koedam TWA, et al.; COLOR COLOR II study group. Oncological Outcomes After Anastomotic Leakage After Surgery for Colon or Rectal Cancer: Increased Risk of Local Recurrence. Ann Surg. 2020 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]

Results: For colon cancer, anastomotic leakage was not associated with increased percentage of local recurrence or decreased disease-free-survival. For rectal cancer, an increase of local recurrences (13.3% vs 4.6%; hazard ratio 2.96; 95% confidence interval 1.38-6.34; P = 0.005) and a decrease of disease-free survival (53.6% vs 70.9%; hazard ratio 1.67; 95% confidence interval 1.16-2.41; P = 0.006) at 5-year follow-up were found in patients with anastomotic leakage.

Conclusion: Short-term morbidity, mortality, and long-term oncological outcomes are negatively influenced by the occurrence of anastomotic leakage after rectal cancer surgery. For colon cancer, no significant effect was observed; however, due to low power, no conclusions on the influence of anastomotic leakage on outcomes after colon surgery could be reached. Clinical awareness of increased risk of local recurrence after anastomotic leakage throughout the follow-up is mandatory.