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September 1980

Nonproprietary Name and Trademark of Drug Cimetidine—Tagamet. No-Touch Isolation Technique: Caveat Emptor

Author Affiliations

New Canaan, Conn

Arch Surg. 1980;115(9):1136. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380090100026

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To the Editor.—McCubbin and Spratt stated in the Archives (115:224-228, 1980) that the no-touch isolation technique is without increased risk and they recommended its wider use in colon cancer. The unwary reader support its use are lacking. Turnbull et al1 believed that ligation of the lymphovascular pedicle prior to mobilization of the colon was responsible for their good results. However, examination of the figures from the article by Turnbull et al shows that the patients treated by the no-touch isolation technique had a longer segment of colon and accompanying mesenteric lymph nodes excised (a hemicolectomy) than "control" patients. Subsequently, Stearns and Shottenfeld2 reported similar good results without ligation before mobilization and attributed their results to the extent of resection that was comparable with that used by Turnbull et al. More recently, Busuttil et al3 have reported a comparable survival rate for carcinoma of the sigmoid colon

Turnbull RB Jr, Kyle K, Watson FR, et al: Cancer of the colon: The influence of the no-touch isolation technique on survival rates. Ann Surg 166:420-427, 1967.Article
Stearns MW Jr, Shottenfeld D:  Techniques for the surgical management of colon cancer . Cancer 28:165-174, 1971.Article
Busuttil RW, Foglia RP, Longmire WP Jr:  Treatment of carcinoma of the sigmoid colon and upper rectum: A comparison of local segmental resection and left hemicolectomy . Arch Surg 112:920-923, 1977.Article