Adjuvant multimodality treatment of rectal cancer.

The British Journal of Surgery
D J GallowayM A Friedman

Abstract

It has long been recognized that curative surgery as the sole treatment for rectal cancer yields disappointing results. There is now a growing body of evidence from prospective randomized clinical trials to support the role of adjuvant therapy for patients whose primary tumour has spread through the rectal wall or has associated lymph node involvement. Carefully planned radiation therapy with adequate doses and fields can reduce the risk of locoregional failure. Chemotherapeutic agents delivered either systemically or regionally may also contribute to better disease control and survival. A number of diagnostic and therapeutic issues still need to be addressed in order to use the available adjuvant treatment methods most appropriately. Efforts to refine patient selection, to enhance therapeutic effect and to minimize toxicity are likely to improve the outlook for patients with resectable rectal cancer.

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Citations

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