Ulcerative colitis and coexisting colorectal cancer: recurrence rate after restorative proctocolectomy

Y Ziv, V W Fazio, S A Strong, J R Oakley, J W Milsom, I C Lavery
Annals of Surgical Oncology 1994, 1 (6): 512-5

BACKGROUND: The association between mucosal ulcerative colitis (MUC) and adenocarcinoma is well established.

METHODS: Records of patients who had undergone restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) from 1983 through 1992 were examined. Of these, 604 had MUC and 27 (4.3%) had MUC with coexisting cancer. Patients were surveyed annually for recurrent disease. Pouch function and quality of life were evaluated with a questionnaire and physical examination.

RESULTS: The duration of disease was longer (p = 0.001) in patients with cancer (16.1 +/- 8.0 years) than in those without cancer (9.1 +/- 7.1 years), although the mean age at diagnosis of MUC was the same. Of the 27 patients, 20 had colon cancer and seven had rectal cancer. Multicentricity was found in seven (25.9%) patients. Using the TNM staging classification, 14 patients (51.8%) had stage 1 cancer, eight (29.6%) had stage 2, four (14.8%) had stage 3, and one (3.8%) had stage 4. The patient with stage 4 cancer died 5 months after surgery and was excluded from the follow-up analysis. During a mean follow-up time of 4.3 +/- 2.6 years, cancer recurred in two of the remaining 26 patients (7.7%). In one patient, a local recurrence was found 8 months after surgery, and distant metastases were found in the other patient 35 months after surgery. Both recurrences were in patients with colon cancer. Two of the 26 patients died; one death was related to cancer recurrence (3.8%). Pouch function is good to excellent in all surviving patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Restorative proctocolectomy for patients with MUC and coexisting colorectal cancer can be performed with a favorable prognosis and function. It is appropriate for curative intent, given that an adequate margin without tumor is obtained.

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