- A review of studies in colorectal cancer (CRC), pancreatic cancer, and gastric cancer finds surgical delay may result in reduced survival in CRC.
- The review found no clear evidence in pancreatic or gastric cancer.
Why this matters
- Surgical delays have become common in gastrointestinal cancers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The findings could help prioritize surgical procedures during this time.
- The authors suggest that if timely resection cannot be performed, neoadjuvant treatment or other alternative therapies should be considered.
- Systematic review of studies in colorectal cancer (43), pancreatic cancer (9), and gastric cancer (6).
- Funding: None disclosed.
- In primary resected colon cancer, surgical delay of >30-40 days was associated with lower survival.
- In rectal cancer, >7-8 weeks of delay after neoadjuvant therapy was associated with lower survival.
- In pancreatic cancer, 2 studies showed an association between surgical delay >30 days and an increase in unexpected progression.
- In gastric cancer, no studies found an association between time to surgery and survival.
- All studies in the review were retrospective.
- Study data were not pooled because of heterogeneity among patient populations, study designs, and evaluated outcomes.