Department of Surgery well represented with stellar contributions at Cabrini’s 2016 Research Day.

Department research on show

The Cabrini Monash University Department of Surgery was well represented with an incredible range of stellar contributions towards Cabrini’s 2016 Research Day held yesterday. In total there were five research presentations that utilised the department’s colorectal neoplasia database, across both early researcher sessions and the later afternoon oral sessions given by the more experienced presenters.

First of the day was Anna Taylor, who presented her findings on “The accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging staging of T2 and T3 rectal cancer”. With the aim to retrospectively determine the accuracy of pre-operative MRI staging of rectal cancers. Her conclusion was that the accuracy of MRI staging is variable, and therefore there is clearly a need to developed a “standardized MRI reporting system to reduce the occurrence of erroneous staging”. 

Within the same session, Angus Lee presented his colorectal fellowship research into whether “Lymph node ratio is more reliable than lymph node yield in predicting survival outcome for non-metastatic colorectal cancer.” Angus concluded that “lymph node ratio is more useful in predicting survival outcomes in stage 3 disease”. While low lymph node yield in early colorectal cancer “does not necessarily predict poorer survival provided that an adequate oncological operation has been performed. 

Two presentations from Lewis Au and Yoland Antill featured in the afternoon’s oral sessions from experienced researchers. Lewis’s study was investigating the “Use of chemotherapy and mismatch repair deficiency testing in resected stage II colon cancer: A retrospective cohort study.” He concluded that with more than 50% of patients in the study more than 80 years old and a low uptake of chemotherapy, there were few relapses observed. “Mismatch repair deficiency,” according to Lewis, “should be performed in all stage II colon cancer patients being considered for adjuvant chemotherapy as it will identify a proportion (34.1%) of patients who may not benefit from treatment.” 

Finally, later within the same session Dr Simon Wilkins presented on “The effect of diabetes on the postoperative outcomes of colorectal cancer surgery patients.” With more than 1700 patients analysed from the colorectal neoplasia database, Dr Wilkins concluded that the effect of diabetes alone on perioperative surgical outcomes appears to be overstated when additional perioperative risk factors such as cardiac, renal and respiratory factors may be more important. “This study points out,” according to Dr Wilkins, “that the long-term control of diabetes to reduce the incidence and severity of these associated pre-morbid conditions is probably more important than the short-term control of peri-operative hyper and hypo-glycaemia.”


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