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Treatment of Appendiceal Adenocarcinoma in the United States: Penetration and Outcomes of Current Guidelines

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Current treatment guidelines for appendiceal adenocarcinoma specify that right hemicolectomy should be performed. This study evaluates appendiceal cancer outcomes in the United States and treatment guideline compliance. Data for patients diagnosed with appendiceal adenocarcinoma in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (1988 to 2003) were analyzed. The 2511 patients with appendiceal adenocarcinoma had an average age of 59.3 years, average tumor size of 4.05 cm, and 5-year survival rate of 57 per cent. The 5-year survival rate by stage was statistically different (P < 0.001): Stage 0, 95.7 per cent; Stage I, 88 per cent; Stage II, 75.2 per cent; Stage III, 37.1 per cent; and Stage IV, 25.6 per cent. Appendectomy was performed in 33.4 per cent, which does not follow the current guidelines. In this group, 5-year survival was significantly less for patients with Stage III and IV disease (48% vs 38.2%, P = 0.03; 46% vs 26.4%, P = 0.04, respectively). Patients with Stage I and II disease had similar 5-year survival for appendectomy and colectomy (90.2% vs 90.1%, P = 0.7; 78.3% vs 76%, P = 0.6, respectively). One-third of patients with adenocarcinoma did not undergo current surgical guideline therapy. However, it appears hemicolectomy only improved survival for patients with later-stage disease. The current data raise the question of whether Stage I and II appendiceal cancer can be adequately treated with simple appendectomy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Division of Gastrointestinal and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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