J Cancer 2018; 9(5):784-791. doi:10.7150/jca.22661 This issue
1. Department of Radiation Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, P.R. China
2. Center of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, P.R. China
3. Department of Medical Ultrasonics, Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Ultrasound, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, P.R. China
4. Center of Gastric cancer, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, P.R. China
#These authors contributed equally to this study
Background: Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is a cost-effective test for preoperative assessment of rectal cancer. However, whether the accuracy of TRUS staging is correlated with tumor location remains obscured. This study is designed to explore their relationship and confirm an optimal application of TRUS in rectal cancer restaging.
Methods: From 2005 to 2011, rectal cancer patients with TRUS data were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were divided into five groups according to tumor-involved rectal segment (SEG) above the anal verge: SEG I 1-3cm, II 3-6cm, III 6-9cm, IV 9-12cm, and V 12-16cm. The accuracy and long-term outcomes of tumor staging were compared between ultrasonographic and pathological stages.
Results: 219 patients were included, with 55 (25.1%) in SEG I, 123 (56.2%) in SEG II, 32 (14.6%) in SEG III, 4 (1.8%) in SEG IV and 5 (2.3%) in SEG V. The overall accuracy of TRUS staging was remarkably superior to clinical staging by CT (64.8% vs. 34.7%, P<0.001), with 70.3% and 82.2% for ultrasonographic T and N stages respectively. The accuracy of TRUS reached its peak value when tumors were located in SEG II. The 5-year overall survival had no significant difference between TRUS and pathology staging for all stages. A cox regression analysis indicated that high levels of CEA and tumor location were risk factors of inaccurate staging.
Conclusions: TRUS is still a valuable examination for restaging of rectal cancer after neoadjuvant therapy. The application of TRUS would be optimal for rectal cancer located 3-6cm above the anal verge.
Keywords: transrectal ultrasonography, tumor staging, rectal cancer, accuracy, outcomes.