Neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy; an opportunity in sphincter preserving procedure for rectal cancer
Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench,
12 January 2014
Page Gastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench 2014;7(1):32-37
Aim: The present study was designed to assess the impact of neo-adjuvant chemoradiotherapy on the possibility of utilizing sphincter preserving techniques in rectal cancer surgery.
Background: For both patients and surgeons anal sphincter preserving surgery serves as the ideal procedure to treat rectal cancer.
Patients and methods: Patients with rectal cancer who were admitted to Shohadaye Tajrish hospital between 2001 and 2011 and underwent sphincter preserving or non-preserving surgery were identified. They were divided into those who had received neo-adjuvant chemo-radiotherapy prior to surgery and those who didn't, and the type of surgical procedure they underwent was compared between the two arms. Data regarding tumor pathology, tumor size and distance from anal verge before and after neo-adjuvant therapy, together with the duration of chemo-radiotherapy were also assessed.
Results: 103 patients with documented rectal cancer were included in our analysis. Among 47 patients who had not received neo-adjuvant therapy, 26 (55%) underwent APR while 15(32%) and 6(13%) patients were treated with LAR and VLAR respectively. Of the 56 patients who had gone through chemo-radiotherapy prior to surgery, 30 (53%) underwent APR while 14 (25%) and 10 (18%) patients were treated with LAR and VLAR respectively. 2 patients had unresectable tumor. Tumor staging before and after neo-adjuvant therapy showed a statistically significant difference (p=0.0001).
Conclusion: Neo-adjuvant chemo-radiotherpy can decrease tumor size, increase the distance between the tumor and anal verge, and downgrade the staging. However, it does not necessarily increase the possibility of performing sphincter preserving surgery on patients suffering from low-lying tumors.
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