Document Detail

Optimizing the outcome for patients with rectal cancer.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12626917     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: Historically, rectal cancer with transmural spread and/or lymph node involvement has presented a major challenge to surgeons, with a variable and often high risk of local recurrence and poor survival outcomes. In recent years a large amount of literature has focused attention on the importance of surgical technique, tumor staging, and the optimal integration of CT and radiation therapy. METHODS: This article reviews the clinical trials that have defined the current approach to rectal cancer, the controversies regarding what should be considered the standard of care, and the ongoing clinical studies that will resolve some of these issues. RESULTS: The preoperative staging of rectal cancer can be improved with the use of endorectal ultrasound and (where available) magnetic resonance imaging. Careful pathologic analysis, particularly of the radial margin, provides important prognostic information that enables better allocation of postoperative care. Although both radiation therapy and CT have a proven role in adjuvant therapy, the interpretation of many studies is confounded by unacceptably poor outcomes in the control arm, and in older studies the use of inferior chemotherapy and radiation therapy techniques. Ongoing studies will better define the optimal combination and timing of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, with respect to both toxicity and survival endpoints. CONCLUSIONS: A combined modality approach to rectal cancer, integrating the colon and rectal surgeon, pathologist, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist, is necessary to achieve optimal outcomes. The achievements to date and the ongoing vigorous debates regarding standard care continue to highlight the importance of quality ongoing research in a rapidly changing clinical environment.
James M Church; Peter Gibbs; Michael W Chao; Joe J Tjandra
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Diseases of the colon and rectum     Volume:  46     ISSN:  0012-3706     ISO Abbreviation:  Dis. Colon Rectum     Publication Date:  2003 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-03-10     Completed Date:  2003-04-24     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372764     Medline TA:  Dis Colon Rectum     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  389-402     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Colectomy / methods
Combined Modality Therapy
Lymphatic Metastasis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Neoplasm Staging
Physical Examination / methods
Preoperative Care
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Rectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*,  pathology,  therapy*
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Treatment Outcome
Erratum In:
Dis Colon Rectum. 2003 Nov;46(11):1565

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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