Newly Published
Editorial Views  |   December 2018
Anesthesia and Cancer Recurrence: Context for Divergent Study Outcomes
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Outcomes Research, Anesthesiology Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio (D.I.S.); Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia; Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology and Centre for Integrated Critical Care, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia; Cancer and Neural-Immune Research Laboratory, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (B.R.)
  • This article has been selected for the Anesthesiology CME Program. Learning objectives and disclosure and ordering information can be found in the CME section at the front of this issue.
    This article has been selected for the Anesthesiology CME Program. Learning objectives and disclosure and ordering information can be found in the CME section at the front of this issue.×
  • Corresponding article on page 31.
    Corresponding article on page 31.×
  • Accepted for publication October 8, 2018.
    Accepted for publication October 8, 2018.×
  • Correspondence: Address correspondence to Dr. Sessler: DS@OR.org
Article Information
Editorial Views / Pharmacology
Editorial Views   |   December 2018
Anesthesia and Cancer Recurrence: Context for Divergent Study Outcomes
Anesthesiology Newly Published on December 6, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002506
Anesthesiology Newly Published on December 6, 2018. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002506
Intraoperative mortality is now so low that its rate is hard to measure. In contrast, postoperative mortality remains common, with about 2% of United States surgical inpatients dying within a month—mostly of cardiovascular causes. Longer-term mortality is even more common, with about 5% of surgical patients dying within a year; among patients more than 65 yr of age (about a third of U.S. surgical patients), a staggering 1 in 10 patients are dead within a year of inpatient surgery.
The leading cause of long-term mortality is cancer. Even after apparently complete resection, postoperative cancer recurs in up to one third of patients—and it is usually metastatic disease that eventually proves lethal.1  High mortality after cancer surgery begs the question of whether there is any aspect of anesthetic management that might reduce the risk of disease recurrence, because even a small benefit would potentially save many lives. The article by Yoo et al.2  in this issue of Anesthesiology addresses this matter.