PURPOSE: Local recurrence after colorectal cancer surgery is usually perianastomotic. An experiment was designed to investigate whether free intraluminal cells can penetrate through a colonic anastomosis and thereby cause local recurrence METHODS: BALB/c and C57/BL mice underwent ascending colotomy followed by watertight anastomosis. Thereafter, CT-26 murine colon carcinoma cells were injected into the cecal lumen 2 cm proximal to the anastomosis of syngeneic BALB/c mice, whereas B-16 murine melanoma cells were injected in the same fashion into C57/BL mice. Control animals without anastomosis received similar injections Animals were killed 24 hours, 72 hours, and 30 days after surgery and were checked for tumorigenesis. RESULTS: Results of peritoneal fluid cytology were negative after 24 hours, whereas after 72 hours cancer cells were identified in the peritoneal fluid of 80 percent of mice with colotomy and anastomosis compared with 20 percent of control mice. Thirty days after surgery, 11.1 percent of the control BALB/c mice developed pericecal tumor growth, similar to the overall rate of murine melanoma in C57/BL In mice with anastomoses, perianastomotic tumor growth was observed in 47.5 percent of BALB/c mice (P < 0.001) and was correlated with the number of injected cells Tumor growth reached approximately 75 percent tumor take with high cell densities, whereas in C57/BL mice no difference was found between the experimental and control groups. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that free intraluminal cancer cells of colonic origin may penetrate through watertight anastomoses and implant on the anastomotic or peritoneal surface and initiate tumor growth. This anastomotic penetration is cell-mass dependent. The reported experimental model is simple, reproducible, and advantageous for studies of colonic anastomosis.
- Colon anastomosis
- Tumor cell implantation