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Journal of the Korean Society of Coloproctology 2005;21(2):89-99.
The Effect of Preoperative Concurrent Chemoradiation in Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer.
Cho, Hyeon Min , Kim, Jun Gi , Jung, Hun , Heo, Youn Jung , Won, Yong Sung , Chun, Kyung Hwa , Chin, Hyung Min , Park, Woo Bae , Chun, Chung Soo
Department of Surgery, St. Vincent's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Suwon, Korea. jgkim@catholic.ac.kr
Tumor downstaging from preoperative chemoradiation has been associated with an increased probability of a sphincter-saving procedure and with improved local control and survival rate. We observed the effect and the prognostic value of pathologic tumor downstaging, including complete pathologic response to preoperative concurrent chemoradiation, resectability, sphincter-saving rate, disease- free survival, and overall survival in locally advanced rectal cancer patients.
From January 2000 to December 2003, we recruited a total 78 patients with computed tomography stages II and III rectal cancer which was treated by using preoperative concurrent chemoradiation; all patients had a radical resection with total mesorectal excision. Surgical resection was performed 6 to 8 weeks after completing the radiation therapy. The average follow up was 25.40+/-13.64 months.
The number of patients according to CT stage before preoperative chemoradiation was 39 (II) and 39 (III). Tumor downstaging occurred in 51 (65.4%) patients, including 11 (14.1%) patients who had a complete pathologic response. Tumor size, radiation dose, and clinical stage were associated with tumor downstaging in the univariate analysis. None of the clinical or pathologic variables was associated with a complete pathologic response. The overall resectibality was 100%. The number of sphincter-saving procedures were 61 (78.2%). Recurrence occurred in 17 (21.8%) patients: local recurrence in 4 (5.1%) and distant metastasis in 13 (16.7%). None of the patients with a complete pathologic response recurred. Recurrences were 3 (17.6%)/7 (22.6%)/7 (36.8%) for pathologic stages I/II/III. Recurrence was more common among younger patients (P <0.05). Patients in the complete pathologic response group had more favorable disease-free survival compared with other group (yp stage I, II, III) (P=0.026).
Preoperative concurrent chemoradiation for locally advanced rectal cancer seems to afford some potential advantages: high tumor response, resectability, and feasible sphincter preservation, and even a complete pathologic response. A complete pathologic response to preoperative chemoradiation is associated with an improved disease-free survival.
Key Words: Rectal cancer; Locally advanced; Preoperative concurrent chemoradiation; Downstaging


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