Surgical Approach to Transverse Colon Cancer: Analysis of Current Practice and Oncological Outcomes Using the National Cancer Database

Jacopo Crippa, Fabian Grass, Pietro Achilli, Kevin T. Behm, Kellie L. Mathis, Courtney N. Day, William S. Harmsen, Giulio M. Mari, David W. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Surgical treatment for transverse colon cancer involves either extended colectomy or segmental resection, depending on the location of the tumor and surgeon perspective. However, the oncological safety of segmental resection has not yet been established in large cohort studies. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to compare segmental resection versus extended colectomy for transverse colon cancer in terms of oncological outcomes. DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study. SETTINGS: This study was conducted using a nationwide cohort. PATIENTS: A total of 66,062 patients who underwent colectomy with curative intent for transverse stage I to III adenocarcinoma were identified in the National Cancer Database (2004-2015). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients were divided in 2 groups based on the type of surgery received (extended versus segmental resection). The primary outcome was overall survival. Secondary outcomes were 30-and 90-day mortality, length of hospital stay, and readmission rate within 30 days of surgical discharge. RESULTS: Extended colectomy was performed in 44,417 (67.2%) patients, whereas 21,645 (32.8%) patients underwent segmental resection. Extended colectomy was associated with lower survival at multivariate analysis (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04-1.10; p < 0.001). The subgroup analysis showed that extended resection was independently associated with poorer survival in mid transverse colon cancers (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.04-1.12; p < 0.001) and in stage III tumors (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.04-1.18; p < 0.001). The number of at least 12 harvested lymph nodes was an independent predictor of improved survival in both overall and subgroup analyses. LIMITATIONS: This study was limited by its retrospective design. CONCLUSION: Extended colectomy was not associated with a survival advantage compared with segmental resection. On the contrary, extended colectomy was associated with slightly poorer survival in mid transverse cancers and locally advanced tumors. Segmental resection was found to be safe when appropriate margins and adequate lymph node harvest were achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Oncological outcomes
  • Overall survival
  • Surgical approach
  • Transverse colon cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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