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Paweł Mroczkowski, Stanisław Hać, Michał Mik, Maciej Berut, Łukasz Dziki, Rainer Kube, Zbigniew Śledziński, Hans Lippert and Adam Dziki

Preliminary Results of the First Quality Assurance Project in Rectal Cancer in Poland

When compared with other EU countries, Poland is in the last place in terms of efficacy of rectal cancer treatment. In order to remedy this situation, in 2008 Polish centres were given the opportunity to participate in an international programme for evaluating the treatment efficacy.

The aim of the study was to present the results obtained during the first two years of research.

Material and methods. The study protocol covered 71 questions concerning demographic data, diagnostics, risk factors, peri- and post-operative complications, histopathology, and treatment plan at discharge. The patient and unit data were kept confidential.

Results. From 1 January 2008 to 30 December 2009, there were 709 patients recorded, of which 55.9% were males. At least one risk factor was found in approx. 3/4 of patients, while approx. 1/3 of patients were classified to group 3 and 4 according to ASA. The mean distance of the tumour from the anal margin was 8.5 cm; approx. 70% of patients were in the clinical stages cT3 and cT4; metastases were observed in 18.8%. Transrectal endoscopic ultrasonography (TREUS) was performed in 23.7% of patients, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 2.5% and computed tomography (CT) scan - in 48.1%. In close to half of the patients, anterior or low anterior resection of the rectum was performed, and abdominoperineal resection in 1/4 of the patients. Anastomotic leakage was seen in 3.8% of patients, while 1.8% died during hospitalisation.

Conclusions. It should be strived after that all the centres undertaking the treatment of rectal cancer should participate in the quality assurance programme. This should enable the achievement of good therapeutic results in patients with rectal cancer treated in Polish centres.