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Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2008 Dec;9(4-6):400-7. doi: 10.1007/s11864-009-0103-7. Epub 2009 May 29.

Treatment options in metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal.

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  • 1The Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 426, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal is a rare malignancy that is often cured with the combined modality therapy of chemoradiation. Yet, a minority of patients will develop distant metastatic disease, an area of oncology in which a universally accepted approach has not been determined. Consideration of platinum-based systemic chemotherapy is commonly provided for palliation with the optimal duration of therapy being largely unknown; the role of biologics and/or surgical resection of metastatic disease are anecdotal. Patients with no contraindications to systemic chemotherapy should be treated aggressively with consideration of multidisciplinary management if appropriate. Here, we present a summary of the existing literature in the treatment of metastatic anal carcinoma in the hopes of providing insight and potential treatment alternatives for the practicing physician.

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