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Neo-adjuvant radiotherapy in rectal cancer
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Oncology and Radiation Science, Oncology.
2013 (English)In: World Journal of Gastroenterology, ISSN 1007-9327, E-ISSN 2219-2840, Vol. 19, no 46, 8489-8501 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In rectal cancer treatment, attention has focused on the local primary tumour and the regional tumour cell deposits to diminish the risk of a loco-regional recurrence. Several large randomized trials have also shown that combinations of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have markedly reduced the risk of a loco-regional recurrence, but this has not yet had any major influence on overall survival. The best results have been achieved when the radiotherapy has been given preoperatively. Preoperative radiotherapy improves loco-regional control even when surgery has been optimized to improve lateral clearance, i.e., when a total mesorectal excision has been performed. The relative reduction is then 50%-70%. The value of radiotherapy has not been tested in combination with more extensive surgery including lateral lymph node clearance, as practised in some Asian countries. Many details about how the radiotherapy is performed are still open for discussion, and practice varies between countries. A highly fractionated radiation schedule (5 Gy x 5), proven efficacious in many trials, has gained much popularity in some countries, whereas a conventionally fractionated regimen (1.8-2.0 Gy x 25-28), often combined with chemotherapy, is used in other countries. The additional therapy adds morbidity to the morbidity that surgery causes, and should therefore be administered only when the risk of loco-regional recurrence is sufficiently high. The best integration of the weakest modality, to date the drugs (conventional cytotoxics and biologicals) is not known. A new generation of trials exploring the best sequence of treatments is required. Furthermore, there is a great need to develop predictors of response, so that treatment can be further individualized and not solely based upon clinical factors and anatomic imaging.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 19, no 46, 8489-8501 p.
Keyword [en]
Chemotherapy, Chemoradiotherapy, Local control, Multidisciplinary, Organ preservation, Radiotherapy, Randomized trials, Rectal cancer
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-217637DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i46.8489ISI: 000329129200004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-217637DiVA: diva2:694243
Available from: 2014-02-06 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2014-02-06Bibliographically approved

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