Nat Commun. 2023 Oct 20;14(1):6667. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-42367-3.
Traditional total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer requires partial resection of Denonvilliers’ fascia (DVF), which leads to injury of pelvic autonomic nerve and postoperative urogenital dysfunction. It is still unclear whether entire preservation of DVF has better urogenital function and comparable oncological outcomes. We conducted a randomized clinical trial to investigate the superiority of DVF preservation over resection (NCT02435758). A total of 262 eligible male patients were randomized to Laparoscopic TME with DVF preservation (L-DVF-P group) or resection procedures (L-DVF-R group), 242 of which completed the study, including 122 cases of L-DVF-P and 120 cases of L-DVF-R. The initial analysis of the primary outcomes of urogenital function has previously been reported. Here, the updated analysis and secondary outcomes including 3-year survival (OS), 3-year disease-free survival (DFS), and recurrence rate between the two groups are reported for the modified intention-to-treat analysis, revealing no significant difference. In conclusion, L-DVF-P reveals better postoperative urogenital function and comparable oncological outcomes for male rectal cancer patients.