Local excision in rectal cancer patients with major or complete clinical response after neoadjuvant therapy: a case-matched study
To assess the long-term oncological outcomes in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer who underwent neoadjuvant therapy followed by local or total mesorectal excision.
Patients with locally advanced rectal adenocarcinoma who received neoadjuvant therapy from 2005 to 2017 were evaluated. Those with major or complete clinical response underwent a full-thickness local excision. Kaplan-Meier estimates were used to evaluate overall, disease-free, and local recurrence-free survival of patients who underwent local excision (LE group) and were compared with a matched cohort of patients who underwent total mesorectal excision (TME group).
Among 252 patients who received neoadjuvant therapy for rectal cancer, 51 (20.2%) underwent a local excision. At a median follow-up of 61 months, patients who underwent local excision were stoma-free in 88.2% of cases and with rectum preserved in 78.5% of cases, respectively. The estimated 5-year local, disease-free, and overall survival was 91.8% vs 97.6% (95% CI: 79.5–96.8 vs 84.6–99.6), 86.7% vs 86.4% (95% CI: 72.5–93.9 vs 70.1–94.1), and 85% vs 90% (95% CI: 69.0–93.0% vs 75.3–96.2), in the study and matched control group, respectively. None of the differences was statistically significant.
One-fifth of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer are manageable with a rectum-sparing approach after neoadjuvant therapy. With this strategy, about 80% patients will have their rectum preserved and 90% will be without stoma at long term.
KeywordsRectal cancer Neoadjuvant therapy Local excision Total mesorectal excision
locally advanced rectal cancer
total mesorectal excision
transanal endoscopic microsurgery
pathologic complete response
complete clinical response
major clinical response
low anterior resection
quality of life
magnetic resonance imaging
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 5.Maas M, Nelemans PJ, Valentini V, Das P, Rödel C, Kuo LJ, Calvo FA, García-Aguilar J, Glynne-Jones R, Haustermans K, Mohiuddin M, Pucciarelli S, Small W Jr, Suárez J, Theodoropoulos G, Biondo S, Beets-Tan RG, Beets GL (2010) Long-term outcome in patients with a pathological complete response after chemoradiation for rectal cancer: a pooled analysis of individual patient data. Lancet Oncol. 11:835–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.Smith JJ, Chow OS, Gollub MJ et al (2015) Organ preservation in rectal adenocarcinoma: a phase II randomized controlled trial evaluating 3-year disease-free survival in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer treated with chemoradiation plus induction or consolidation chemotherapy, and total mesorectal excision or nonoperative management. BMC Cancer 15:767CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 11.Aschele C, Cionini L, Lonardi S, Pinto C, Cordio S, Rosati G, Artale S, Tagliagambe A, Ambrosini G, Rosetti P, Bonetti A, Negru ME, Tronconi MC, Luppi G, Silvano G, Corsi DC, Bochicchio AM, Chiaulon G, Gallo M, Boni L (2011) Primary tumour response to preoperative chemoradiation with or without oxaliplatin in locally advanced rectal cancer: pathologic results of the STAR-01 randomized phase III trial. J Clin Oncol 29:2773–2780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 12.Bujko K, Richter P, Smith FM, Polkowski W, Szczepkowski M, Rutkowski A, Dziki A, Pietrzak L, Kołodziejczyk M, Kuśnierz J, Gach T, Kulig J, Nawrocki G, Radziszewski J, Wierzbicki R, Kowalska T, Meissner W, Radkowski A, Paprota K, Polkowski M, Rychter A (2013) Preoperative radiotherapy and local excision of rectal cancer with immediate radical re-operation for poor responders: a prospective multicentre study. Radiother Oncol 106:198–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 13.Stijns RCH, de Graaf EJR, Punt CJA, Nagtegaal ID, Nuyttens JJME, van Meerten E, Tanis PJ, de Hingh IHJT, van der Schelling G, Acherman Y, Leijtens JWA, Bremers AJA, Beets GL, Hoff C, Verhoef C, Marijnen CAM, de Wilt JHW, CARTS Study Group (2019) Long-term oncological and functional outcomes of chemoradiotherapy followed by organ-sparing transanal endoscopic microsurgery for distal rectal cancer: the CARTS study. JAMA Surg 154:47–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 14.Martens MH, Maas M, Heijnen LA et al (2016) Long-term outcome of an organ preservation program after neoadjuvant treatment for rectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 10:108Google Scholar
- 15.Rullier E, Rouanet P, Tuech JJ, Valverde A, Lelong B, Rivoire M, Faucheron JL, Jafari M, Portier G, Meunier B, Sileznieff I, Prudhomme M, Marchal F, Pocard M, Pezet D, Rullier A, Vendrely V, Denost Q, Asselineau J, Doussau A (2017) Organ preservation for rectal cancer (GRECCAR 2): a prospective, randomised, open-label, multicentre, phase 3 trial. Lancet. 390:469–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Lezoche G, Baldarelli M, Guerrieri M, Paganini AM, de Sanctis A, Bartolacci S, Lezoche E (2008) A prospective randomized study with a 5-year minimum follow-up evaluation of transanal endoscopic microsurgery versus laparoscopic total mesorectal excision after neoadjuvant therapy. Surg Endosc 22:352–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 17.Garcia-Aguilar J, Renfro LA, Chow OS et al (2015) Organ preservation for clinical T2N0 distal rectal cancer using neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and local excision (ACOSOG Z6041): results of an open-label, single-arm, multi-institutional, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol 16:1537–1546CrossRefGoogle Scholar