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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol Oncol > Volume 26(4); 2008 > Article
The Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology 2008;26(4): 247-256. doi: https://doi.org/10.3857/jkstro.2008.26.4.247
Results of Preoperative Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy for the Treatment of Rectal Cancer
Mee Sun Yoon, Taek Keun Nam, Hyeong Rok Kim, Byung Sik Nah, Woong Ki Chung, Young Jin Kim, Sung Ja Ahn, Ju Young Song, Jae Uk Jeong
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea. meesunyoon@hanmail.net
2Department of Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate anal sphincter preservation rates, survival rates, and prognostic factors in patients with rectal cancer treated with preoperative chemoradiotherapy.
One hundred fifty patients with pathologic confirmed rectal cancer and treated by preoperative chemoradiotherapy between January 1999 and June 2007. Of the 150 patients, the 82 who completed the scheduled chemoradiotherapy, received definitive surgery at our hospital, and did not have distant metastasis upon initial diagnosis were enrolled in this study. The radiation dose delivered to the whole pelvis ranged from 41.4 to 46.0 Gy (median 44.0 Gy) using daily fractions of 1.8~2.0 Gy at 5 days per week and a boost dose to the primary tumor and high risk area up to a total of 43.2~54 Gy (median 50.4 Gy). Sixty patients (80.5%) received 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and cisplatin, while 16 patients (19.5%) were administered 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin every 4 weeks concurrently during radiotherapy. Surgery was performed for 3 to 45 weeks (median 7 weeks) after completion of chemoradiotherapy.
The sphincter preservation rates for all patients were 73.2% (60/82). Of the 48 patients whose tumor was located at less than 5 cm away from the anal verge, 31 (64.6%) underwent sphincter-saving surgery. Moreover, of the 34 patients whose tumor was located at greater than or equal to 5 cm away from the anal verge, 29 (85.3%) were able to preserve their anal sphincter. A pathologic complete response was achieved in 14.6% (12/82) of all patients. The downstaging rates were 42.7% (35/82) for the T stage, 75.5% (37/49) for the N stage, and 67.1% (55/82) for the overall stages. The median follow-up period was 38 months (range 11~107 months). The overall 5-year survival, disease-free survival, and locoregional control rates were 67.4%, 58.9% and 84.4%, respectively. The 5-year overall survival rates based on the pathologic stage were 100% for stage 0 (n=12), 59.1% for stage I (n=16), 78.6% for stage II (n=30), 36.9% for stage III (n=23), and one patient with pathologic stage IV was alive for 43 months (p=0.02). The 5-year disease-free survival rates were 77.8% for stage 0, 63.6% for stage I, 58.9% for stage II, 51.1% for stage III, and 0% for stage IV (p<0.001). The 5-year locoregional control rates were 88.9% for stage 0, 93.8% for stage I, 91.1% for stage II, 68.2% for stage III, and one patient with pathologic stage IV was alive without local recurrence (p=0.01). The results of a multivariate analysis with age (< or =55 vs. >55), clinical stage (I+II vs. III), radiotherapy to surgery interval (< or =6 weeks vs. >6 weeks), operation type (sphincter preservation vs. no preservation), pathologic T stage, pathologic N stage, pathologic overall stage (0 vs. I+II vs. III+IV), and pathologic response (complete vs. non-CR), only age and pathologic N stage were significant predictors of overall survival, pathologic overall stage for disease-free survival, and pathologic N stage for locoregional control rates, respectively. Recurrence was observed in 25 patients (local recurrence in 10 patients, distant metastasis in 13 patients, and both in 2 patients). Acute hematologic toxicity (> or =grade 3) during chemoradiotherapy was observed in 2 patients, while skin toxicity was observed in 1 patient. Complications developing within 60 days after surgery and required admission or surgical intervention, were observed in 11 patients: anastomotic leakage in 5 patients, pelvic abscess in 2 patients, and others in 4 patients.
Preoperative chemoradiotherapy was an effective modality to achieve downstaging and sphincter preservation in rectal cancer cases with a relatively low toxicity. Pathologic N stage was a statistically significant prognostic factor for survival and locoregional control and so, more intensified postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy should be considered in these patients.
Key Words: Rectal cancer, Preoperative chemoradiotherapy
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