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Surg Oncol. 1999 Jul;8(1):1-11.

Neoadjuvant therapy in the treatment of high risk rectal carcinoma.

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  • 1University of Hull Academic Surgical Unit, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, UK.


The management of rectal cancer remains a challenging and controversial area of surgical oncology. The spectre of local recurrence, with its' poor prognostic and palliative outcomes, is known to be highly dependent on operative technique and to vary widely between surgeons. The roles of radiotherapy and chemotherapy have been the subject of trials for 30 years and yet no consensus on treatment exists. In this review article we will summarise the evolution of radiotherapy and chemoradiation in the treatment of rectal cancer and evaluate the evidence available for the use of "neoadjuvant" chemoradiation. In particular, the role of adjuvant therapies in the setting of total mesorectal excision will be discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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