The purpose of this study was to translate the low anterior resection syndrome (LARS) score into Slovenian and to test its validity on Slovenian patients who underwent low anterior rectal resection.
The LARS score was translated from English into Slovenian and then back-translated following international recommendations. The Slovenian version of the LARS questionnaire was completed by patients who underwent low anterior rectal resection between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2010 at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. An anchor question assessing the impact of bowel function on lifestyle was included. To assess test-retest reliability, some of the patients answered the LARS score questionnaire twice.
A total of 100 patients (66.7%) of the 150 patients who were contacted for participation, were included in the final analysis. A total of 58 patients reported major LARS score. The LARS score was able to discriminate between patients who received radiotherapy and those who did not (p<0.001), and between total and partial mesorectal excision (p<0.001). Age was not associated with a greater LARS score (p=0.975). There was a perfect fit between the QoL category question and the LARS score in 66.0% of cases and a moderate fit was found in 24.0% of the cases, showing good convergent validity. Test-retest reliability of 51 patients showed a high intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.86.
The Slovenian translation of the LARS score is a valid tool for measuring LARS.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the surgical treatment on Slovenian colorectal cancer patients’ health-related quality of life and to compare the results to the health-related quality of life of the general Slovenian population.
Patients and methods
A total of 413 patients with colorectal cancer operated on at the Abdominal Surgery Department at the Ljubljana University Medical Center between January 1st, 2016 and December 31st, 2017 were sent two standardized and validated questionnaires: the EORTC QLQ-C30 version 3 and EORTC QLQ-CR29. The questionnaires were returned by 197 patients.
Compared to the general population, poorer physical (p < 0.001), role (p = 0.002), cognitive (p = 0.021), and social functioning (p < 0.001) with higher frequency of constipation (p < 0.001), diarrhea (p < 0.001), and financial difficulties (p < 0.001) were reported by the colorectal patients. Female patients reported lower cognitive (p = 0.034) and emotional (p = 0.008) functioning, as well as higher frequency of bloating (p = 0.049) and hair loss (p = 0.01). Compared to the younger group of patients, lower physical functioning (p < 0.001) and higher urinary frequency (p = 0.007), urinary incontinence (p = 0.007), buttock pain (p = 0.007), and anxiety regarding body weight (p = 0.031) were detected among the older group of colorectal patients.
The global health status of colorectal patients in Slovenia is comparable to that of the general Slovenian population, but there is a significantly lower level in some of the quality-of-life scales.
Low recurrence rates and long term survival are the main therapeutic goals of rectal cancer surgery. Complete, margin- negative resection confers the greatest chance for a cure. The aim of our study was to determine whether the length of the distal resection margin was associated with local recurrence rate and long- term survival.
Patients and methods
One hundred and nine patients, who underwent sphincter-preserving resection for locally advanced rectal cancer after preoperative chemoradiotherapy between 2006 and 2010 in two tertiary referral centres were included in the study. Distal resection margin lengths were measured on formalin-fixed, pinned specimens. Characteristics of patients with distal resection margin < 8 mm (Group I, n = 27), 8–20 mm (Group II, n = 31) and > 20 mm (Group III, n = 51) were retrospectively analysed and compared. Median (range) follow-up time in Group I was 89 (51–111), in Group II 83 (57–111) and in Group III 80 (45–116) months (p = 0.326), respectively.
Univariate survival analysis showed that distal resection margin length was not statistically significantly associated with overall survival or local recurrence rate (p > 0.05). In a multiple Cox regression analysis, after adjusting for pathologic T and N stage (yT, yN), distal resection margin length was still not statistically significantly associated with overall survival.
Our study shows that close distal resection margins can be accepted as oncologically safe for sphincter-preserving rectal resections after preoperative chemoradiotherapy.
Few studies reported early results on efficacy, toxicity of combined modality treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) by adding bevacizumab to preoperative chemoradiotherapy, but long-term data on survival, and late complications are lacking. Further, none of the studies reported on the assessment of quality of life (QOL).
Patients and methods
After more than 5 years of follow-up, we updated the results of our previous phase II trial in 61 patients with LARC treated with neoadjuvant capecitabine, radiotherapy and bevacizumab (CRAB study) before surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. Secondary endpoints of updated analysis were local control (LC), disease free (DFS) and overall survival (OS), late toxicity and longitudinal health related QOL (before starting the treatment and one year after the treatment) with questionnaire EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-CR38.
Median follow-up was 67 months. During the follow-up period, 16 patients (26.7%) died. The 5-year OS, DFS and LC rate were 72.2%, 70% and 92.4%. Patients with pathological positive nodes or pathological T3–4 tumors had significantly worse survival than patients with pathological negative nodes or T0–2 tumors. Nine patients (14.8%) developed grade 33 late complications of combined modality treatment, first event 12 months and last 87 months after operation (median time 48 months). Based on EORTC QLQ-C30 scores one year after treatment there were no significant changes in global QOL and three symptoms (pain, insomnia and diarrhea), but physical and social functioning significantly decreased. Based on QLQ-CR38 scores body image scores significantly increase, problems with weight loss significantly decrease, but sexual dysfunction in men and chemotherapy side effects significantly increase.
Patients with LARC and high risk factors, such as positive pathological lymph nodes and high pathological T stage, deserve more aggressive treatment in the light of improving long-term survival results. Patients after multimodality treatment should be given greater attention to the regulation of individual aspects of quality of life and the occurrence of late side effects.