A Single Institution Propensity Score Weighted Analysis of Time to Chemotherapy After Minimally Invasive Versus Open Colorectal Surgery.
Background: Oncologic outcomes for colon cancer are optimal when chemotherapy is started within 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. The study objective was to investigate the impact of operative modality and urgency on the time interval from surgery to adjuvant chemotherapy.
Methods: This is a retrospective institutional tumor registry cohort study of open and laparoscopic/robotic colorectal resections for stage II-IV cancer between April 2010 and January 2018. Primary outcome was time from surgery to chemotherapy. Predictor variables were adjusted for imbalances by propensity score weighting.
Results: A total of 220 patients met inclusion criteria: 171 elective (108 laparoscopic/robotic and 63 open) and 49 urgent colectomies. After propensity score weighting, there was no significant difference in time to chemotherapy between elective minimally invasive and open surgical approaches (48 days vs. 58 days, P = .187). Only 68.9% of minimally invasive and 50.8% of open colectomy patients started chemotherapy within 8 weeks of surgery. There was a significant difference (P = .037) among surgical sites with rectal resections having the longest (55 days), and right colectomies having the shortest (46 days), time to chemotherapy. Patients who had urgent operations had significantly longer hospital length of stay (P < .001) and higher post-discharge emergency department visit rates (P < .001) than the elective operation group. However, there was no significant difference in time to chemotherapy.
Conclusions: Neither operative modality nor operative urgency resulted in a significant difference in postoperative time to initiating chemotherapy. Future efforts should be focused on identifying postoperative recovery criteria and optimum multidisciplinary communication methods that allow recovered patients to start chemotherapy sooner.