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December 1965

Surgical Treatment of Carcinoma of Colon and RectumIts Evolution in One University Hospital

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Barnes Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Arch Surg. 1965;91(6):958-962. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320180092020

EFFECTIVE surgical therapy for cancer of the colon and rectum has largely evolved within the last 100 years. However, many surgeons were, and remain, reluctant to apply the advances in technique developed by those individuals and clinics especially interested in colorectal disease. It is of interest to review the chronologic development of surgical treatment for carcinoma of the colon and rectum in a single university hospital, primarily to document the causes and effects of delayed acceptance of therapeutic innovations. In the half century from the opening of the Barnes Hospital to the present, valuable contributions pertaining to biliary disease, thoracic surgery, parenteral fluid therapy, and burns have been made by the Washington University surgical service. Conversely, the management of colorectal neoplasms in the Barnes Hospital was at best conservative. Indeed, the only notable contributions in this sphere have been the application of techniques for pelvic exenteration to advanced primary and

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