Is postoperative radiotherapy useful for the rectal carcinoma in the era of total mesorectal excision?
Suh, KW; Kim, BW; Chun, M; Lim, HY
Hepato-gastroenterology, 49(44):399-403, 2002
BACKGROUND/AIMS: The exact role of postoperative radiotherapy following curative surgery of rectal carcinoma has been debated. In this retrospective study, we examined the effect of radiotherapy on the survival and recurrence rate of rectal cancer patients who underwent total mesorectal excision.
METHODOLOGY: Since June 1994, stage II and III rectal cancer patients have been recommended to receive postoperative chemoradiation. Among 175 consecutive patients who had undergone total mesorectal excision, 120 completed postoperative chemoradiation (group A) and 55 patients declined to receive radiation therapy (group B). For the two groups, survival and recurrence rates were compared. Mean follow-up time was 24.7 months. There was no difference between two groups with regard to sex, mean age, stage of the disease, mean tumor height, type of operation and mean follow-up duration.
RESULTS: Overall recurrence rate showed no difference between the two groups (24.0% vs. 25.0%, P = 0.28). Local recurrence rate was also similar (10.0% vs. 6.0%, P = 0.11). There was no significant difference in duration to initial recurrence (14.0 months vs. 11.0 months, P = 0.18). The 5-year disease-free survival was 57% in group A and 63% in group B (P = 0.33). Disease-free survival in stage II was significantly better than in stage III. (78% vs. 42% overall, 70% vs. 37% in group A, 92% vs. 44% for group B, P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found no beneficial effect of postoperative radiation therapy following total mesorectal excision for the rectal cancer. So far, the prognosis was critically dependent on the stage rather than presence or absence of radiotherapy after total mesorectal excision.
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