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Background

Locoregional recurrence of colonic cancer includes anastomotic recurrence, associated nodal masses, masses that involve the abdominal wall and pelvic masses. The aim of this study was to report the outcome of resection of such recurrences and to provide guidance on the management of this disease.

Methods

Patients were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Data were obtained on demographics, surgical procedure, morbidity, histopathology and outcome. Univariable and multivariable analyses of factors influencing survival were performed using stepwise Cox logistic regression.

Results

Forty-two patients (21 men; median age 61 (range 41–82) years) underwent resection of recurrent colonic cancer between 2003 and 2011. The median interval between resection of the primary and recurrent colonic tumour was 37·5 (interquartile range 7–91) months. The recurrences developed at the previous anastomosis (9 patients), elsewhere within the abdominal cavity or wall (8) and as discrete masses within the pelvic cavity (25). Eighteen of 42 patients underwent resection of hepatic or pulmonary metastases at some stage after resection of the primary tumour. Median survival was 29 months after R0 resection and 26 months after R1 resection of the recurrent tumour (P = 0·226). The survival benefit depended on the location of the recurrence (median survival after resection of recurrent disease: anastomotic 33 months, pelvic 26 months, abdominal 19 months; P = 0·010).

Conclusion

This study described a classification system, management algorithm and prognostic factors for recurrent colonic cancer. The distribution of disease influenced survival. Long-term survival was achieved, including a subset of patients with drop metastases and/or previous metastasectomy.