Guidelines 2000 for colon and rectal cancer surgery

Heidi Nelson, Nicholas Petrelli, Arthur Carlin, Jean Couture, James Fleshman, Jose Guillem, Brent Miedema, David Ota, Daniel Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1038 Scopus citations


Background: Oncologic resection techniques affect outcome for colon cancer and rectal cancer, but standardized guidelines have not been adopted. The National Cancer Institute sponsored a panel of experts to systematically review current literature and to draft guidelines that provide uniform definitions, principles, and practices. Methods: Methods were similar to those described by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in developing practice guidelines. Experts representing oncology and surgery met to review current literature on oncologic resection techniques for level of evidence (I-V, where I is the best evidence and V is the least compelling) and grade of recommendation (A-D, where A is based on the best evidence and D is based on the weakest evidence). Initial guidelines were drafted, reviewed, and accepted by consensus. Results: For the following seven factors, the level of evidence was II, III, or IV, and the findings were generally consistent (grade B): anatomic definition of colon versus rectum, tumor-node-metastasis staging, radial margins, adjuvant R0 stage, inadvertent rectal perforation, distal and proximal rectal margins, and en bloc resection of adherent tumors. For another seven factors, the level of evidence was II, III, or IV, but findings were inconsistent (grade C): laparoscopic colectomy; colon lymphadenectomy; level of proximal vessel ligation, mesorectal excision, and extended lateral pelvic lymph node dissection (all three for rectal cancer); no-touch technique; and bowel washout. For the other four factors, there was little or no systematic empirical evidence (grade D): abdominal exploration, oophorectomy, extent of colon resection, and total length of rectum resected. Conclusions: The panel reports surgical guidelines and definitions based on the best available evidence. The availability of more standardized information in the future should allow for more grade A recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-596
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 18 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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