Short-course versus long-course chemoradiation in rectal cancer--time to change strategies?
OPINION STATEMENT: There is significant debate regarding the optimal neoadjuvant regimen for resectable rectal cancer patients. Short-course radiotherapy, a standard approach throughout most of northern Europe, is generally defined as 25 Gy in 5 fractions over the course of 1 week without the concurrent administration of chemotherapy. Long-course radiotherapy is typically defined as 45 to 50.4 Gy in 25-28 fractions with the administration of concurrent 5-fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy and is the standard approach in other parts of Europe and the United States. At present, two randomized trials have compared outcomes for short course radiotherapy with long-course chemoradiation showing no difference in respective study endpoints. Late toxicity data are lacking given limited follow-up. Although the ideal neoadjuvant regimen is controversial, our current bias is long-course chemoradiation to treat patients with locally advanced, resectable rectal cancer.
Palta, M; Willett, CG; Czito, BG
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