Dr. Frank GleasonDepartment of Surgery PGY3 Resident Frank Gleason, M.D., was recently featured in the Annals of Surgery for his article, “Early Elective Surgery After Colon Cancer Diagnosis has Higher Risk of Readmission and Death.”

Under the guidance of Greg Kennedy, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UAB DIvision of Gastrointestinal Surgery, and Kelly Kenzik, MS, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Division of Hematology and Oncology, Frank sought to investigate the impact of timing of an operation after colon cancer diagnosis as well as the value of an appropriate oncologic workup. Together, they hypothesized colon resection within 30 days of cancer diagnosis would lead to higher rates of readmission and cancer specific mortality, unless there was demonstrated evidence of preoperative workup­.

They performed a retrospective analysis of 25,407 patients in the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry who underwent elective surgical resection for colon cancer from 2010 to 2015.  They found increased risk of readmission and cancer specific mortality if patients underwent colon resection within 30 days of diagnosis. Fortunately, if a preoperative oncologic workup was completed, these risks were significantly mitigated.

“I think that there is an opportunity to apply our findings towards the optimization of care we provide to our patients with colon cancer,” said Gleason. “Any reduction in perioperative risk is worthwhile to ensure we provide the highest level of care possible.”