The Selective Use of Radiation Therapy in Rectal Cancer Patients.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Colorectal cancer has a high global incidence, and standard treatment employs a multimodality approach. In addition to cure, minimizing treatment-related toxicity and improving the therapeutic ratio is a common goal. The following article addresses the potential of omitting radiotherapy in select rectal cancer patients. RECENT FINDINGS: Omission of radiotherapy in rectal cancer is analyzed in the context of historical findings, as well as more recent data describing risk stratification of stage II-III disease, surgical optimization, imaging limitations, improvement in systemic chemotherapeutic agents, and contemporary studies evaluating selective omission of radiotherapy. A subset of rectal cancer patients exists that may be considered low to intermediate risk for locoregional recurrence. With appropriate staging, surgical technique, and possibly improved systemic therapy, it may be feasible to selectively omit radiotherapy in these patients. Current imaging limitations as well as evidence of increased locoregional recurrence following radiotherapy omission lend us to continue supporting the standard treatment of approach of neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy followed by surgical resection until additional improvements and prospective evidence can support otherwise.
Martella, A; Willett, C; Palta, M; Czito, B
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