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Improved Outcomes for Rectal Cancer in the Era of Preoperative Chemoradiation and Tailored Mesorectal Excision: A Series of 338 Consecutive Cases

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Neoadjuvant chemoradiation (CRT), tailored mesorectal excision, and intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) have become the leading measures for rectal cancer treatment. The objective of this study was to evaluate early and long-term results of a multimodal treatment model for rectal cancer followed by curative surgery. Prospectively collected hospital records of 338 patients surgically treated for rectal cancer between January 1998 and December 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with high rectum level cancers and those with middle and low rectum cancers with clinical stage T1 to T2 underwent surgery, whereas those with T3 to T4 and N+ disease at the middle and low rectum received neoadjuvant CRT in 96.2 per cent of cases. Short-course neoadjuvant radiotherapy was not considered for neoadjuvant treatment. Postoperative major complications and mortality rates were 12.7 and 2.3 per cent, respectively. Overall 5-year disease-specific and disease-free survival were 80 and 73.1 per cent, respectively, whereas local recurrence rate was 6.1 per cent. At multivariate analysis, nodal status and circumferential margin status were independently associated with poor survival; local recurrence rates were independently affected by nodal and marginal status and tumor stage. The extent of mesorectal excision should be tailored depending on tumor location and the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, combined with IORT in advanced middle and low rectal cancer, leading to remarkable tumor downstaging with excellent prognosis in responding patients.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Departments of Surgical Sciences, Catholic University, School of Medicine, Rome, Italy

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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