Improved overall survival among responders to preoperative chemoradiation for locally advanced rectal cancer.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

The aim of this study was to determine if the response to preoperative radiation and chemotherapy with continuous infusion 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) was predictive for survival among patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Preoperative chemoradiation (CTX/XRT) that delivered 45 Gy in 25 fractions over 5 weeks with continuous infusion 5-FU (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. Adjuvant chemotherapy, consisting of 400 to 425 mg/m2 of 5-FU plus 20 mg/m2 leucovorin for 5 days, was administered every 28 days for 4 to 6 cycles after surgical resection. Among the 74 patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy, the preoperative stage of disease was 31 with T3N0 and 43 T3N1. Median follow-up was 46 months (range 2 to 89 months). The pathologic tumor stages were Tis-2N0 in 26%, T2N1 in 5%, T3N0 in 21%, T3N1 in 15%, T4N0 in 5%, and T4N1 in 1%; a complete response (CR) to preoperative CTX/XRT was pathologically confirmed in 32 (27%) of patients. Tumor down-staging occurred in 72 (62%) cases. A sphincter-saving procedure (SP) was possible in 59% of patients. The median DFS and overall survival rates for responders were 46 months and 47 months, respectively; for non-responders these outcome measures were 38 months and 41 months, respectively. Log-rank analysis showed that the distant metastatic-free survival rates improved with any response to CTX/XRT (p < 0.00001), CR to CTX/XRT (p < 0.009) and SP (p < 0.012). Likewise, these parameters also significantly influenced DFS rates (CTX/XRT p < 0.00001; CR p < 0.006; and SP p < 0.008). Control of pelvic disease was influenced by clinical size (p < 0.002) and SP (p < 0.016) on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis only clinical size (p < 0.002) continued to be a significant factor for local control. Factors on multivariate analysis that resulted in significant improvements in cancer-specific survival included any response to preoperative CTX/XRT (p < 0.017) and administration of adjuvant chemotherapy (p < 0.034). Any response to preoperative CTX/XRT improved distant metastatic-free and disease-free survival rates. Multivariate analysis confirmed that a response to preoperative CTX/XRT predicted for improvements in overall survival among patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Patients who fail to respond to preoperative 5-FU based chemotherapy given concomitantly with radiation have higher rates of distant metastases with adjuvant 5-FU therapy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Janjan, NA; Crane, C; Feig, BW; Cleary, K; Dubrow, R; Curley, S; Vauthey, JN; Lynch, P; Ellis, LM; Wolff, R; Lenzi, R; Abbruzzese, J; Pazdur, R; Hoff, PM; Allen, P; Brown, T; Skibber, J

Published Date

  • April 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 107 - 112

PubMed ID

  • 11319280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0277-3732

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00000421-200104000-00001


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States