Introduction: Laparoscopic resection of rectal cancer has been proven efficacious but morbidity and oncological outcome need to be investigated in a randomized clinical trial. Trial design: Non-inferiority randomized clinical trial. Methods: The COLOR II trial is an ongoing international randomized clinical trial. Currently 27 hospitals from Europe, South Korea and Canada are including patients. The primary endpoint is loco-regional recurrence rate three years post-operatively. Secondary endpoints cover quality of life, overall and disease free survival, post-operative morbidity and health economy analysis. Results: By July 2008, 27 hospitals from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, South Korea and Canada had included 739 patients. The intra-operative conversion rate in the laparoscopic group was 17%. Distribution of age, location of the tumor and radiotherapy were equal in both treatment groups. Most tumors are located in the mid-rectum (41%). Conclusion: Laparoscopic surgery in the treatment of rectal cancer is feasible. The results and safety of laparoscopic surgery in the treatment of rectal cancer remain unknown, but are subject of interim analysis within the COLOR II trial. Completion of inclusion is expected by the end of 2009. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, identifier: NCT00297791 (www.clinicaltrials.gov).
2009. Vol. 56, no 2, 89-91 p.