Metachronous peritoneal metastases in patients with pT4b colon cancer: An international multicenter analysis of intraperitoneal versus retroperitoneal tumor invasion

E. S. Zwanenburg, A. M. Gehrels, V. P. Bastiaenen, A. G. J. Aalbers, A. Arjona-Sánchez, V. Bellato, J. D. W. van der Bilt, A. D. D'Hoore, E. Espinosa-Redondo, C. E. L. Klaver, M. Kusters, I. D. Nagtegaal, B. van Ramshorst, H. C. van Santvoort, G. S. Sica, P. Snaebjornsson, K. A. T. G. M. Wasmann, J. H. W. de Wilt, A. M. Wolthuis, P. J. Tanis

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Background: It was hypothesized that colon cancer with only retroperitoneal invasion is associated with a low risk of peritoneal dissemination. This study aimed to compare the risk of metachronous peritoneal metastases (mPM) between intraperitoneal and retroperitoneal invasion. Methods: In this international, multicenter cohort study, patients with pT4bN0-2M0 colon cancer who underwent curative surgery were categorized as having intraperitoneal invasion (e.g. bladder, small bowel, stomach, omentum, liver, abdominal wall) or retroperitoneal invasion only (e.g. ureter, pancreas, psoas muscle, Gerota's fascia). Primary outcome was 5-year mPM cumulative rate, assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: Out of 907 patients with pT4N0-2M0 colon cancer, 198 had a documented pT4b category, comprising 170 patients with intraperitoneal invasion only, 12 with combined intra- and retroperitoneal invasion, and 16 patients with retroperitoneal invasion only. At baseline, only R1 resection rate significantly differed: 4/16 for retroperitoneal invasion only versus 8/172 for intra- +/− retroperitoneal invasion (p = 0.010). Overall, 22 patients developed mPM during a median follow-up of 45 months. Two patients with only retroperitoneal invasion developed mPM, both following R1 resection. The overall 5-year mPM cumulative rate was 13% for any intraperitoneal invasion and 14% for retroperitoneal invasion only (Log Rank, p = 0.878), which was 13% and 0%, respectively, in patients who had an R0 resection (Log Rank, p = 0.235). Conclusion: This study suggests that pT4b colon cancer patients with only retroperitoneal invasion who undergo an R0 resection have a negligible risk of mPM, but this is difficult to prove because of its rarity. This observation might have implications regarding individualized follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2023-2031
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean journal of surgical oncology
Issue number9
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Peritoneal metastases
  • pT4b colon Cancer

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