Tumor downstaging and sphincter preservation with preoperative chemoradiation in locally advanced rectal cancer: the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center experience.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: To evaluate the rates of tumor downstaging after preoperative chemoradiation for locally advanced rectal cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CTX/XRT) that delivered 45 Gy in 25 fractions over 5 weeks with continuous infusion 5-fluorouracil (300 mg/m2/day) was given to 117 patients. The pretreatment stage distribution, as determined by endorectal ultrasound (u), included uT2N0 in 2%, uT3N0 in 47%, uT3N1 in 49%, and uT4N0 in 2% of cases; endorectal ultrasound was not performed in 13% of cases (15 patients). Approximately 6 weeks after completion of CTX/XRT, surgery was performed. RESULTS: The pathological tumor stages were Tis-2N0 in 26%, T2N1 in 5%, T3N0 in 21%, T3N1 in 15%, T4N0 in 5%, and T4NI in 1%; a complete response (CR) to preoperative CTX/XRT was pathologically confirmed in 32 (27%) of patients. Tumor downstaging occurred in 72 (62%) cases. Only 3% of cases had pathologic evidence of progressive disease. Pretreatment tumor size (< 5 cm vs. > or = 5 cm) was the only factor predictive of tumor downstaging (p < 0.04). A decrease of > 1 T-stage level was accomplished in 45% of those downstaged. Overall, a sphincter-saving (SP) procedure was possible in 59% of patients and an abdominoperineal resection (APR) was required in 41 % of cases. Factors predictive of SP included downstaging (p < 0.03), age > 40 years (p < 0.007), pretreatment tumor distance, 3 to 6 cm from the anal verge (p < 0.00001), tumor size <6 cm (p < 0.02), mobility (p < 0.004), tumor stage 6 cm from the anal verge, SP was performed in 14 of the 15 (93%) patients with a CR and 32 of 33 (97%) of patients with residual disease (p < 0.00004). CONCLUSIONS: Significant tumor downstaging results from preoperative chemoradiation allowing sphincter sparing surgery in over 40% of patients whose tumors were located < 6 cm from the anal verge and who otherwise would have required colostomy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Janjan, NA; Khoo, VS; Abbruzzese, J; Pazdur, R; Dubrow, R; Cleary, KR; Allen, PK; Lynch, PM; Glober, G; Wolff, R; Rich, TA; Skibber, J

Published Date

  • July 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1027 - 1038

PubMed ID

  • 10421535

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10421535

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-355X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0360-3016

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0360-3016(99)00099-1


  • eng