Preoperative radiotherapy combined with total mesorectal excision for resectable rectal cancer: 12-year follow-up of the multicentre, randomised controlled TME trial
2011 (English)In: The Lancet Oncology, ISSN 1470-2045, E-ISSN 1474-5488, Vol. 12, no 6, 575-582 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background The TME trial investigated the value of preoperative short-term radiotherapy in combination with total mesorectal excision (TME). Long-term results are reported after a median follow-up of 12 years. Methods Between Jan 12, 1996, and Dec 31, 1999, 1861 patients with resectable rectal cancer without evidence of distant disease were randomly assigned to TME preceded by 5 x 5 Gy radiotherapy or TME alone (ratio 1:1). Randomisation was based on permuted blocks of six with stratification according to centre and expected type of surgery. The primary endpoint was local recurrence, analysed for all eligible patients who underwent a macroscopically complete local resection. Findings 10-year cumulative incidence of local recurrence was 5% in the group assigned to radiotherapy and surgery and 11% in the surgery-alone group (p<0.0001). The effect of radiotherapy became stronger as the distance from the anal verge increased. However, when patients with a positive circumferential resection margin were excluded, the relation between distance from the anal verge and the effect of radiotherapy disappeared. Patients assigned to radiotherapy had a lower overall recurrence and when operated with a negative circumferential resection margin, cancer-specific survival was higher. Overall survival did not differ between groups. For patients with TNM stage III cancer with a negative circumferential resection margin, 10-year survival was 50% in the preoperative radiotherapy group versus 40% in the surgery-alone group (p=0.032). Interpretation For all eligible patients, preoperative short-term radiotherapy reduced 10-year local recurrence by more than 50% relative to surgery alone without an overall survival benefit. For patients with a negative resection margin, the effect of radiotherapy was irrespective of the distance from the anal verge and led to an improved cancer-specific survival, which was nullified by an increase in other causes of death, resulting in an equal overall survival. Nevertheless, preoperative short-term radiotherapy significantly improved 10-year survival in patients with a negative circumferential margin and Trim stage III. Future staging techniques should offer possibilities to select patient groups for which the balance between benefits and side-effects will result in sufficiently large gains.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 12, no 6, 575-582 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155920DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(11)70097-3ISI: 000291842400021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-155920DiVA: diva2:429624