Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
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Predictive role of preoperative sarcopenia for long-term survival in rectal cancer patients: A meta-analysis.

PURPOSE: To identify the predictive role of sarcopenia in long-term survival among rectal cancer patients who underwent surgery based on available evidence.

METHODS: The Medline, EMBASE and Web of Science databases were searched up to October 20, 2023, for relevant studies. Overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were the endpoints. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were combined to evaluate the association between sarcopenia and survival.

RESULTS: Fifteen studies with 4283 patients were included. The pooled results demonstrated that preoperative sarcopenia significantly predicted poorer OS (HR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.67-2.57, P<0.001), DFS (HR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.39-2.48, P<0.001) and CSS (HR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.31-2.56, P<0.001). Furthermore, subgroup analysis based on neoadjuvant therapy indicated that sarcopenia was a risk factor for worse OS and DFS in patients who received (OS: HR = 2.44, P<0.001; DFS: HR = 2.16, P<0.001) but not in those who did not receive (OS: HR = 2.44, P<0.001; DDFS: HR = 1.86, P = 0.002) neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. In addition, subgroup analysis based on sample size and ethnicity showed similar results.

CONCLUSION: Preoperative sarcopenia is significantly related to poor survival in surgical rectal cancer patients and could serve as a novel and valuable predictor of long-term prognosis in these patients.

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