PURPOSE: To evaluate the possibility that laparoscopic procedure could perform surgeries keeping the principle of oncologic surgery. METHODS: From July 1993 to June 1996, thrity patients undergone laparoscopic assisted colon and rectal resections (LR) for malignant disease at Yeungman university hospital. Margins of resection and lymph nodes (LNs) recovered were compared with those of thirty stage matched open resection cases (OR, n=30) retrospectively. There was no operative mortality in both group. Operative techniques used in LR vs OR were colectomy, 5:6; anterior resection, 6:5; low anterior resection, 11:12 and abdominoperineal resection, 8:7. Parameters were analgesic use, duration of postoperative ileus, operative time, hospital stay, margins of rescetion, lymph node yield (LNs), and recurrence. RESULTS: Patients who underwent LR had less pain, a shorter period of postoperative ileus and hospital stay than patients who underwent OR. But, the length of operative time was greater for patients undergoing LR. Mean lymph node yield in the laparoscopic group was 16 compared with 18.1 in the open group (P=0.560). Average margins of resection in LR vs OR were 13.9 cm vs 14.1 cm proximally (P=0.823), 3.6 cm vs 5.2 cm distally (P=0.498). In no case did the margins contain tumor. There was no statistical significance in dissected LNs and the length of both resection margins in both groups. Recurrence was similar in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, there is no evidence that laparoscopic technique is inadequate in following the cancer surgery principle.