Preoperative radiotherapy has no value for patients with T2-3, N0 adenocarcinomas of the rectum.
SourceDigestive Surgery, 26, 4, (2009), pp. 291-296
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectONCOL 1: Hereditary cancer and cancer-related syndromes; ONCOL 4: Quality of Care
BACKGROUND: Treatment of rectal cancer with preoperative radiotherapy followed by total mesorectal excision is nowadays the standard treatment. It reduces local recurrences and improves overall survival. However, in patients with T2-3, N0 rectal cancer, the role of preoperative radiotherapy remains controversial. The aim of this study was to review the benefit of radiotherapy in T2 and T3, N0 rectal cancer patients. METHODS: Between 1996 and 2003, 103 patients with T2-3, N0 rectal cancer were identified in our prospective database. This study evaluated time to local recurrence, distant metastases and overall survival. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 4.3 years. The 5-year local control rate was 94%. The 5-year overall survival was 65%. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 82%. Preoperative radiotherapy did not show any statistical differences. Abdominal perineal resection and T3 tumors negatively influenced overall survival (p = 0.02). Advanced age was of significant importance in overall survival. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative radiotherapy does not seem to be of significant importance in patients with T2-3, N0 rectal cancer regarding local recurrence and survival. Since preoperative radiotherapy is associated with short- and long-term morbidity, patients with T2-3, N0 tumors should be identified and treated with surgery alone.
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