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Squamous cell carcinoma of the rectum: a single institution experience

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Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the rectum is a rare disorder. There is currently no effective method as to how best treat patients with this condition. The purpose of this study was to review a single tertiary institution’s experience.


A retrospective chart review was conducted of all patients who presented with documented SCC of the rectum over a 10-year period (2000–2010). During the study period, all patients were offered chemoradiation as an initial treatment modality [a fluorouracil (5-FU)-based regimen in conjunction with mitomycin or cisplatin].


Six patients presented with primary rectal SCC. Mean patient age was 60 years. The majority of patients were female (83 %). The most common presenting symptom was rectal bleeding (67 %). The mean distance from the inferior tumor margin to the anal verge was 6 cm. Two patients (33 %) presented with stage II disease, and 4 (67 %) were stage III. Five patients (83 %) received chemoradiation therapy initially, and 1 patient underwent abdominoperineal resection after refusing chemoradiation. Two additional patients (33 %) underwent salvage surgery. During a mean follow-up of 44 months, 4 patients (66 %) were alive without evidence of disease.


Based on the results of this cases series, chemoradiation as an initial primary therapy appears to be beneficial for patients with primary SCC of the rectum. A 5-FU chemotherapy-based regimen in conjunction with fractionated radiotherapy appears to be effective for local control of the disease.

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Correspondence to M. A. Abbas.

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Yeh, J., Hastings, J., Rao, A. et al. Squamous cell carcinoma of the rectum: a single institution experience. Tech Coloproctol 16, 349–354 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10151-012-0848-z

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  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Rectum
  • Chemoradiation