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    An investigation of the relationship between perioperative characteristics and perioperative anaesthesia on the postoperative systemic inflammatory response and clinical outcome in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer

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    In UK, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death. Until now, surgical resection remains the cornerstone for the management of CRC in all stages, however, stress response elicit from surgery may cause different changes through multiple systems in human body including neural, endocrine, metabolic, inflammatory, and immunological changes. In addition, other perioperative factors such as volatile anaesthetic and opioids may induce the immunosuppression. There is a proportional correlation between the stress response and the magnitude of the inflammatory immune response, invasiveness, and duration of surgery. The pre-operative and post-operative status of patients are important when considering the prognosis. The systemic inflammatory response (SIR) has been recognised to correlate with tumour progression and the prognosis of CRC. An exaggerated postoperative SIR is associated with postoperative infective complications and poor survival. Several predictive markers of the SIR have been used, such as the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), serum C-reactive protein (CRP) level, and Glasgow prognostic score (GPS). Some evidence reported that general anaesthesia (GA) combined with regional anaesthesia (RA) are better than the single use of general anaesthesia in reducing the post-operative immuno-suppression in some degrees. Furthermore, the peri-operative inflammatory process may be affected by the choice of anaesthetic technique, with propofol reported to have anti-inflammatory effect by targeting neutrophil activity. Up to now, there is insufficient evidence to recommend any specific anaesthetic or analgesic technique for patients undergoing surgery for tumour resection based on inflammatory response, recurrence, and metastasis. The work presented in this thesis further examines the relationship between the perioperative characteristics, perioperative anaesthesia, and the postoperative systemic inflammatory response following surgery for colorectal cancer. Several preoperative medications along with anaesthesia might influence the postoperative systemic inflammatory response but the question is whether the post-operative systemic inflammatory response affected by the administration of different types of anaesthesia or not following surgery for colorectal cancer. Chapter 1 discusses the epidemiology, aetiology, carcinogenesis, risk factors of colorectal cancer, pro-carcinogenic factors, anti-carcinogenic agents, inflammation and cancer, the post-operative systemic inflammatory response, tumour staging, screening, and diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Chapter 2 discusses the treatment of colorectal cancer. Chapter 3 discusses different anaesthetic techniques and agents. Chapter 4 provides summary and aims of the thesis. Chapter 5 represents findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis about the effect of anaesthesia on the postoperative systemic inflammatory response in patients undergoing surgery. The results conclude that there was some evidence that anaesthetic regimens may reduce the magnitude of the post-operative SIR. However, the studies identified in this systematic review were heterogeneous and generally of low quality. Chapter 6 represents a retrospective cohort study about the relationship between anaesthetic technique, clinicopathological characteristics and the magnitude of the postoperative systemic inflammatory response in patients undergoing elective surgery for colon cancer. The results show that the type of anaesthesia varied over time and appears to influence the magnitude of the postoperative SIR on post-operative day 2 for those patients who underwent for open surgery but not laparoscopic surgery. Chapter 7 represents a prospective cohort study about the effect of anaesthesia on the magnitude of the postoperative systemic inflammatory response in patients undergoing elective surgery for colorectal cancer in the context of an enhanced recovery pathway. The results show that there was a modest but an independent association between regional anaesthesia (RA) and a lower magnitude of the postoperative SIR. Chapter 8 represents the relationship between pre-operative medications, the type of anaesthesia and post-operative sequelae in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer. The results show that there was no association between the preoperative administration of aspirin, statins and ACE inhibitors and anaesthesia. Chapter 9 represents the relationship between nutritional status, anaesthetic approach, and peri-operative characteristics of patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer. The results show that there was no significant association between measures of nutritional status and anaesthetic approach. Chapter 10 represents the relationship between opioid administration, type of anaesthesia and clinicopathological characteristics in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer. The results show that opioid administration was independently associated with both anaesthetic and operative factors. Chapter 11 represents the main findings of the thesis and some recommendation for a future work
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