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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2008 Jul;100(7):393-9.

[Multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of rectal cancer: the benefits of neoadjuvant therapy].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Cirugía General y Digestivo. Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.



the aim of this study was to assess the impact of neoadjuvant treatment on rectal cancer following involvement of a multidisciplinary team (MDT).


between January 2000 and December 2005, 90 patients with rectal adenocarcinoma were evaluated by a MDT and operated on after receiving neoadjuvant treatment with radiochemotherapy (RTCT) -67% were men and 33% were women, with a mean age of 65.04 years (21-83 years). Surgery was low anterior resection in 50% and abdominoperineal amputation in 42.2%.


the rate of complications associated with neoadjuvant treatment was 54.4%, with gastrointestinal complications being most frequent. However, this toxicity was tolerated by most patients. It was severe in two cases (2.2%), leading to chemotherapy discontinuation. A histological analysis of specimens showed a complete pathologic response in 10 cases (11.1%) and a partial response (downstaging of T) in 32 cases (35.6%), hence overall response to neoadjuvant treatment was 46.6%. Postoperative complications included anastomotic leakage in 8.3%, perineal wound complications in 34.2%, and urinary disease in 12.2%. The surgical mortality rate was 0%. Local recurrence occurred in 4.4%, and distant metastases were found in 22.2%. Both overall and disease-free survivals were 80 and 64%, respectively.


neoadjuvant treatment results in low local recurrence rates and optimal survival rates, with no increase in morbidity or mortality. A systematic evaluation by a MDT in the context of a clinical protocol offers better cure rates.

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