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Dis Colon Rectum. 2008 Aug;51(8):1185-91; discussion 1191-4. doi: 10.1007/s10350-008-9231-6. Epub 2008 Jun 7.

Local excision of distal rectal cancer: an update of cancer and leukemia group B 8984.

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Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



The efficacy of local excision in the treatment of some early-stage distal rectal cancers is still being debated, because few high-quality, long-term prospective data on outcomes are available.


Fifty-nine patients with T1 lesions were treated with local excision alone, whereas 51 patients with T2 lesions received external beam irradiation (5,400 cGY) and 5-fluorouracil (500 mg/m(2) intravenously Days 1-3, Days 29-31) after local excision. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to estimate the primary outcomes. The log-rank test and Cox's proportional hazards model were used to compare subgroups relative to these outcomes.


With a median follow-up of 7.1 (range, 2.1-11.4) years, ten-year rates of overall survival were 84 percent for patients with T1 and 66 percent for T2 rectal cancer. Disease-free survival was 75 percent for T1 and 64 percent for T2 disease. Local recurrence rates for patients with T1 and T2 lesions were 8 and 18 percent, respectively, and rates of distant metastases were 5 percent for T1 and 12 percent for T2 lesions. T stage was a statistically significant predictor of overall survival (P = 0.04) and approached statistical significance as a predictor of disease-free survival (P = 0.07).


Local excision alone for T1 rectal adenocarcinomas is associated with low recurrence and good survival rates that remain durable with long-term follow-up. T2 lesions treated via local excision and adjuvant therapy are associated with higher recurrence rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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