Retrospective Cohort Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 7, 2018; 24(45): 5144-5153
Published online Dec 7, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i45.5144
Pelvic exenterations for primary rectal cancer: Analysis from a 10-year national prospective database
Gianluca Pellino, Sebastiano Biondo, Antonio Codina Cazador, José María Enríquez-Navascues, Eloy Espín-Basany, Jose Vicente Roig-Vila, Eduardo García-Granero, on behalf of the Rectal Cancer Project
Gianluca Pellino, Eduardo García-Granero, Colorectal Unit, Hospital Universitario y Politecnico La Fe, University of Valencia, Valencia 46026, Spain
Sebastiano Biondo, Department of General and Digestive Surgery, Colorectal Unit, Bellvitge University Hospital, University of Barcelona and IDIBELL, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona 08907, Spain
Antonio Codina Cazador, Department of General and Digestive Surgery--Colorectal Unit, Josep Trueta University Hospital, Girona 17001, Spain
José María Enríquez-Navascues, General and Digestive Surgery Department, Donostia University Hospital, Donostia 20014, Spain
Eloy Espín-Basany, Department of General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery Unit, Hospital Valle de Hebron, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona 08035, Spain
Jose Vicente Roig-Vila, Unit of Coloproctology, Hospital Vithas-Nisa 9 de Octubre, Valencia 46015, Spain
Author contributions: Pellino G and García-Granero E designed the research; Pellino G, Biondo S, Codina Cazador A, Enríquez-Navascues JM, Espín-Basany E and Roig-Vila JV performed the research; Pellino G and García-Granero E analyzed the data; Pellino G, Biondo S, Codina Cazador A, Enríquez-Navascues JM, Espín-Basany E, Roig-Vila JV and García-Granero E wrote the paper and critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content.
Correspondence author to: Eduardo García-Granero, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Valencia, C/Pizarro 5 2-2, Valencia 46004, Spain.
Telephone: +34-96-1244000 Fax: +34-96-3868864
Received: October 13, 2018
Peer-review started: October 15, 2018
First decision: October 23, 2018
Revised: November 5, 2018
Accepted: November 16, 2018
Article in press: November 16, 2018
Published online: December 7, 2018

To identify short-term and oncologic outcomes of pelvic exenterations (PE) for locally advanced primary rectal cancer (LAPRC) in patients included in a national prospective database.


Few studies report on PE in patients with LAPRC. For this study, we included PE for LAPRC performed between 2006 and 2017, as available, from the Rectal Cancer Registry of the Spanish Association of Surgeons [Asociación Española de Cirujanos (AEC)]. Primary endpoints included procedure-associated complications, 5-year local recurrence (LR), disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). A propensity-matched comparison with patients who underwent non-exenterative surgery for low rectal cancers was performed as a secondary endpoint.


Eight-two patients were included. The mean age was 61.8 ± 11.5 years. More than half of the patients experienced at least one complication. Surgical site infections were the most common complication (abdominal wound 18.3%, perineal closure 19.4%). Thirty-three multivisceral resections were performed, including two hepatectomies and four metastasectomies. The long-term outcomes of the 64 patients operated on before 2013 were assessed. The five-year LR was 15.6%, the distant recurrence rate was 21.9%, and OS was 67.2%, with a mean survival of 43.8 mo. R+ve resection increased LR [hazard ratio (HR) = 5.58, 95%CI: 1.04-30.07, P = 0.04]. The quality of the mesorectum was associated with DFS. Perioperative complications were independent predictors of shorter survival (HR = 3.53, 95%CI: 1.12-10.94, P = 0.03). In the propensity-matched analysis, PE was associated with better quality of the specimen and tended to achieve lower LR with similar OS.


PE is an extensive procedure, justified if disease-free margins can be obtained. Further studies should define indications, accreditation policy, and quality of life in LAPRC.

Keywords: Pelvic exenteration, Advanced rectal cancer, Colorectal surgery, Complication, Outcome

Core tip: Pelvic exenteration (PE) for locally advanced primary rectal cancer (LAPRC) is associated with high rates of perioperative adverse events, but the survival benefit obtained when R-ve margins are achieved outweighs this risk. In low LAPRC, PE achieved better pathologic outcomes, resulting in a trend towards reduced LR compared with non-exenterative procedures.