This study was designed to determine the results of patients with rectal adenocarcinoma treated with local excision.METHODS:
A retrospective, chart review was conducted for all patients treated with local excision for rectal adenocarcinoma from 1984 to 1998.RESULTS:
Sixty-four patients were retained for analysis. The median follow-up was 37 (range, 9-125) months. There were 15 local failures with a median time to local failure of 12 months. Seven patients were salvaged with further operation (4 by repeat local excision, 4 by abdominoperineal resection, and 1 by low anterior resection). The incidence of local recurrence increased with advancing stage of the carcinoma (T1, 13 percent; T2, 24 percent; T3, 71 percent), histologic grade of differentiation, (well, 12 percent; moderately, 24 percent; poorly, 44 percent), and margin status (negative, 16 percent; close (within 2 mm), 33 percent; positive, 50 percent). Sixteen percent of carcinomas ≤ 3 cm failed compared with 47 percent for carcinomas > 3 cm. Nine percent (1/11) of T2 patients treated with adjuvant radiation therapy recurred locally compared with 36 percent (5/14) without radiation therapy. Three of four T3 patients who received radiation therapy failed locally compared with two of three who did not. Using the Kaplan-Meier method, the overall survival at five years was 71 percent, and disease-free survival was 83 percent. Actuarial local failure was 27 percent and freedom from distant metastasis was 86 percent. The sphincter preservation rate was 90 percent at five years.CONCLUSIONS:
Local excision alone is an acceptable option for well-differentiated, T1 carcinomas, ≤ 3 cm. Adjuvant radiation is recommended for T2 lesions. The high local recurrence rate in patients after local excision of T3 lesions with or without adjuvant radiotherapy would mandate a radical resection.