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Laparoscopic surgery has proven to be safe and effective. However, the value of laparoscopic resection for malignancy in terms of cancer outcome can only be assessed by large prospective randomized clinical trials with sufficient follow-up.COLOR (COlon carcinoma Laparoscopic or Open Resection) is a European multicenter randomized trial which has started in September 1997. In 24 hospitals in Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, 1,200 patients will be included. The primary end point of the study is cancer-free survival after 3 years.Within <2 years, more than 540 patients have been randomized for right hemicolectomy (45%), left hemicolectomy (10%) and sigmoidectomy (45%). 33 patients (6%) were excluded after randomization. The accrual rate is approximately 25 patients/month. Current survival rates for the whole study group are: stage I: 95%, stage II: 98%, stage III: 93%, stage IV: 64%. For all patients with stage I disease, the mortality was not cancer related.Although laparoscopic surgery appears of value in colorectal malignancy, results of randomized trials have to be awaited to determine the definitive place of laparoscopy in colorectal cancer. Considering the current accrual rate, the COLOR study will be completed in 2002.