Anal carcinoma

  • Michael G. Haddock
  • James A. MartensonJr
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 98)


Although carcinoma of the anal canal is a relatively rare malignancy, there have been a number of important advances in research and clinical studies pertaining to this malignancy over the course of the past decade. Epidemiological studies have revealed a marked increase in anal cancer in some populations, and these studies, along with advances in molecular biology, have provided clues to the mechanism of anal carcinogenesis. A major revolution in treatment approach has occurred, leading to the adoption of sphincter-saving treatment as initial treatment for the majority of patients with anal cancer. Although radiation therapy has been used as a standard primary treatment approach in Europe for many years [1,2], prior to the 1980s the treatment of choice in most of North America was abdominoperineal resection [3], With the publication of results from several institutions documenting the effectiveness of primary radiation therapy with and without chemotherapy, nonsurgical approaches have become standard therapy for the majority of patients with anal cancer. Although the effectiveness of sphincter-sparing treatment is well established, relatively few prospective trials have been performed to clearly define the optimum treatment regimen. Information regarding natural history and patterns of tumor spread obtained from retrospective reports have played an important role in the development of therapeutic recommendations. Important questions remain to be answered regarding the most effective and least toxic radiotherapy and chemotherapy regimens. The results from recently completed and ongoing randomized clinical trials will be key in further defining effective and tolerable treatment regimens.


Anal Canal Abdominoperineal Resection Anal Cancer Human Papilloma Virus Infection Combine Modality Therapy 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael G. Haddock
  • James A. MartensonJr

There are no affiliations available

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