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Radiat Oncol. 2011 Aug 24;6:99. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-6-99.

Upfront systemic chemotherapy and preoperative short-course radiotherapy with delayed surgery for locally advanced rectal cancer with distant metastases.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Yonsei Colorectal Cancer Clinic, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Choosing the most effective approach for treating rectal cancer with mesorectal fascia (MRF) involvement or closeness and synchronous distant metastases is a current clinical challenge. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine if upfront systemic chemotherapy and short-course radiotherapy (RT) with delayed surgery enables R0 resection.


Between March 2009 and October 2009, six patients were selected for upfront chemotherapy and short-course RT (5 × 5 Gy) with delayed surgery. The patients had locally advanced primary tumors with MRF involvement or closeness, as well as synchronous and potentially resectable distant metastases. Chemotherapy was administered to five patients between the end of the RT and surgery. All patients underwent total mesorectal excision (TME).


The median patient age was 54 years (range 39-63). All primary and metastatic lesions were resected simultaneously. The median duration between short-course RT and surgery was 13 weeks (range, 7-18). R0 resection of rectal lesions was achieved in 5 patients. One patient, who had a very low-lying tumor, had an R1 resection. The median follow-up duration for all patients was 16.7 months (range, 15.5-23.5). One patient developed liver metastasis at 15.7 months. There have been no local recurrences or deaths.


Upfront chemotherapy and short course RT with delayed surgery is a valuable alternative treatment approach for patients with MRF involvement or closeness of rectal cancer with distant metastases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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