In a nutshell
This study investigated the best interval time between chemoradiation therapy and rectal cancer surgery for the best outcomes in patients with rectal cancer. Researchers suggested that waiting at least 8 weeks until the surgery increases the tumor response to the treatment.
The standard treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer is long-course chemotherapy and radiation therapy (LC-CRT) and surgery. LC-CRT before surgery is known to improve tumor response and recurrence (when cancer comes back).
Prior studies reported improved tumor response in patients who received surgery 6 to 8 weeks after LC-CRT. Some studies with increased interval times reported better outcomes, but others did not.
The best interval time from LC-CRT to surgery in patients with rectal cancer remains unclear.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed 26 other studies with information about 25445 patients with rectal cancer. These patients underwent LC-CRT and received surgery at least 8 weeks after.
An 8-week interval was associated with a 41% higher tumor response. Tumor shrinkage, surgery outcomes and complications were also improved. These patients had a 29% lower risk of having metastasis (spread to other parts of the body). Moreover, they also had a 24% lower risk of cancer recurrence.
The bottom line
This study concluded that an 8-week or longer interval between LC-CRT and surgery is associated with better rectal tumor response and outcomes in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.
Published By :
British Journal of Surgery
Jun 19, 2019
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