Multicentre, randomised, controlled trials (RCTs) provide level 1 evidence for surgery in the treatment of gastrooesophageal cancer. This systematic review investigated whether standardisation of surgical techniques in RCTs reduces the variation in lymph-node harvest, in-hospital mortality, and locoregional cancer recurrence. The range in the coeffi cients of variation for lymph-node harvest (0·07–0·61), proportion of patients with locoregional cancer recurrence (1·1–46·2%), and in-hospital mortality (0–10%) was wide. Credentialing of surgeons through assessment of operative reports and monitoring of their performance through data collection were important factors that reduced the variation in lymph-node harvest. Factors that reduced adjusted in-hospital mortality included credentialing surgeons through procedural volume and operative reports, and standardisation of surgical techniques. Future RCTs should include an assessment of surgical performance as an important aspect of study design to reduce variation in clinical outcomes.

dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70419-X, hdl.handle.net/1765/85391
The Lancet Oncology
Department of Public Health

Markar, S.R, Wiggins, T, Ni, M, Steyerberg, E.W, van Lanschot, J.J.B, Sasako, M, & Hanna, G.B. (2015). Assessment of the quality of surgery within randomised controlled trials for the treatment of gastro-oesophageal cancer: A systematic review. The Lancet Oncology (Vol. 16, pp. e23–e31). doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(14)70419-X