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Cancer Radiother. 1999 Jan-Feb;3(1):39-50.

[Locoregional recurrence of adenocarcinomas of the rectum treated with irradiation combined with or without excision surgery].

[Article in French]

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Service d'oncologie-radiothérapie, hôpital Tenon, Paris, France.



Retrospective study to analyze the results of external beam radiation treatment with or without surgery for loco-regional recurrence of adenocarcinoma of the rectum following previous surgery without pre- or post-operative radiotherapy.


Between March 1973 and November 1991, 211 patients with loco-regional recurrence of rectum cancer were treated with external beam radiation treatment. Radical surgery was the only initial treatment modality. Surgical resection of local recurrence was done in 36 patients and only 17 patients could undergo complete resection. Forty-seven patients underwent radiotherapy (RT) combined with surgery and 164 received external beam radiation treatment alone to a mean total dose of 46 Gy.


Among the 151 patients whose recurrence was revealed by pain, 64 (42%) were considered to have a complete symptomatic response after loco-regional treatment with radiosurgery or RT alone. The mean duration of response was 12 months. The 3-year overall survival rate was 16%. Five prognostic factors decreased the overall survival rate in multivariate analysis: high age, sex (male), concomitant distant metastasis, no tumor resection, and low total radiation dose with external beam radiation treatment alone. The 3-year overall survival rate for patients with completely resected recurrences was 39%.


External beam RT treatment can only be considered a palliative symptomatic treatment. New techniques of early detection of local recurrence and new combined modalities approaches (radiation sensitizers or intra-operative radiotherapy) with surgical resection in some favorable cases should be studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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