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  • Author: Mirko Omejc x
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Abstract

Background

Low recurrence rates and long term survival are the main therapeutic goals of rectal cancer surgery. Complete, margin- negative resection confers the greatest chance for a cure. The aim of our study was to determine whether the length of the distal resection margin was associated with local recurrence rate and long- term survival.

Patients and methods

One hundred and nine patients, who underwent sphincter-preserving resection for locally advanced rectal cancer after preoperative chemoradiotherapy between 2006 and 2010 in two tertiary referral centres were included in the study. Distal resection margin lengths were measured on formalin-fixed, pinned specimens. Characteristics of patients with distal resection margin < 8 mm (Group I, n = 27), 8–20 mm (Group II, n = 31) and > 20 mm (Group III, n = 51) were retrospectively analysed and compared. Median (range) follow-up time in Group I was 89 (51–111), in Group II 83 (57–111) and in Group III 80 (45–116) months (p = 0.326), respectively.

Results

Univariate survival analysis showed that distal resection margin length was not statistically significantly associated with overall survival or local recurrence rate (p > 0.05). In a multiple Cox regression analysis, after adjusting for pathologic T and N stage (yT, yN), distal resection margin length was still not statistically significantly associated with overall survival.

Conclusions

Our study shows that close distal resection margins can be accepted as oncologically safe for sphincter-preserving rectal resections after preoperative chemoradiotherapy.

Abstract

Background

The majority of rectal cancers are discovered in locally advanced forms (UICC stage II, III). Treatment consists of preoperative radiochemotherapy, followed by surgery 6–8 weeks later and finally by postoperative chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to find out if tumor regression affected long-term survival in patients with localy advanced rectal cancer, treated with neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy.

Patients and methods

Patients with rectal cancer stage II or III, treated between 2006 and 2010, were included in a retrospective study. Clinical and pathohistologic data were acquired from computer databases and information about survival from Cancer Registry. Survival was estimated according to Kaplan-Meier method. Significance of prognostic factors was evaluated in univariate analysis; comparison was carried out with log-rank test. The multivariate analysis was performed according to the Cox regression model; statistically significant variables from univariate analysis were included.

Results

Two hundred and two patients met inclusion criteria. Median follow-up was 53.2 months. Stage ypT0N0 (pathologic complete response, pCR) was observed in 14.8% of patients. Pathohistologic stage had statistically significant impact on survival (p = 0.001). 5-year survival in patients with pCR was>90%. Postoperative T and N status were also found to be statistically significant (p = 0.011 for ypT and p < 0.001 for ypN). According to multivariate analysis, tumor response to neoadjuvant therapy was the only independent prognostic factor (p = 0.003).

Conclusions

Pathologic response of tumor to preoperative radiochemotherapy is an important prognostic factor for prediction of long-term survival of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to translate the low anterior resection syndrome (LARS) score into Slovenian and to test its validity on Slovenian patients who underwent low anterior rectal resection.

Methods

The LARS score was translated from English into Slovenian and then back-translated following international recommendations. The Slovenian version of the LARS questionnaire was completed by patients who underwent low anterior rectal resection between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2010 at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. An anchor question assessing the impact of bowel function on lifestyle was included. To assess test-retest reliability, some of the patients answered the LARS score questionnaire twice.

Results

A total of 100 patients (66.7%) of the 150 patients who were contacted for participation, were included in the final analysis. A total of 58 patients reported major LARS score. The LARS score was able to discriminate between patients who received radiotherapy and those who did not (p<0.001), and between total and partial mesorectal excision (p<0.001). Age was not associated with a greater LARS score (p=0.975). There was a perfect fit between the QoL category question and the LARS score in 66.0% of cases and a moderate fit was found in 24.0% of the cases, showing good convergent validity. Test-retest reliability of 51 patients showed a high intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.86.

Conclusions

The Slovenian translation of the LARS score is a valid tool for measuring LARS.

Abstract

Background

Few studies reported early results on efficacy, toxicity of combined modality treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) by adding bevacizumab to preoperative chemoradiotherapy, but long-term data on survival, and late complications are lacking. Further, none of the studies reported on the assessment of quality of life (QOL).

Patients and methods

After more than 5 years of follow-up, we updated the results of our previous phase II trial in 61 patients with LARC treated with neoadjuvant capecitabine, radiotherapy and bevacizumab (CRAB study) before surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. Secondary endpoints of updated analysis were local control (LC), disease free (DFS) and overall survival (OS), late toxicity and longitudinal health related QOL (before starting the treatment and one year after the treatment) with questionnaire EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-CR38.

Results

Median follow-up was 67 months. During the follow-up period, 16 patients (26.7%) died. The 5-year OS, DFS and LC rate were 72.2%, 70% and 92.4%. Patients with pathological positive nodes or pathological T3–4 tumors had significantly worse survival than patients with pathological negative nodes or T0–2 tumors. Nine patients (14.8%) developed grade 33 late complications of combined modality treatment, first event 12 months and last 87 months after operation (median time 48 months). Based on EORTC QLQ-C30 scores one year after treatment there were no significant changes in global QOL and three symptoms (pain, insomnia and diarrhea), but physical and social functioning significantly decreased. Based on QLQ-CR38 scores body image scores significantly increase, problems with weight loss significantly decrease, but sexual dysfunction in men and chemotherapy side effects significantly increase.

Conclusions

Patients with LARC and high risk factors, such as positive pathological lymph nodes and high pathological T stage, deserve more aggressive treatment in the light of improving long-term survival results. Patients after multimodality treatment should be given greater attention to the regulation of individual aspects of quality of life and the occurrence of late side effects.

Abstract

Background

In the light of a high rate of distant recurrence and poor compliance of adjuvant chemotherapy in high risk rectal cancer patients the total neoadjuvant treatment was logical approach to gaining acceptance. We aimed to evaluate toxicity and efficiency of this treatment in patients with rectal cancer and high risk factors for local or distant recurrence.

Patients and methods

Patients with rectal cancer stage II and III and with at least one high risk factor: T4, presence of extramural vein invasion (EMVI), positive extramesorectal lymph nodes or mesorectal fascia (MRF) involvement were treated with four cycles of induction CAPOX/FOLFOX, followed by capecitabine-based radiochemotherapy (CRT) and two consolidation cycles of CAPOX/FOLFOX before the operation. Surgery was scheduled 8–10 weeks after completition of CRT.

Results

From November 2016 to July 2018 66 patients were evaluable. All patients had stage III disease, 24 (36.4%) had T4 tumors, in 46 (69.7%) EMVI was present and in 47 (71.2%) MRF was involved. After induction chemotherapy, which was completed by 61 (92.4%) of patients, radiologic downstaging of T, N, stage, absence of EMVI or MRF involvement was observed in 42.4%, 62.1%, 36.4%, 69.7% and 68.2%, respectively. All patients completed radiation and 54 (81.8%) patients received both cycles of consolidation chemotherapy. Grade 3 adverse events of neoadjuvant treatment was observed in 4 (6%) patients. Five patients rejected surgery, 3 of them with radiologic complete clinical remissions. One patient did not have definitive surgery of primary tumor due to unexpected cardiac arrest few days after sigmoid colostomy formation. Among 60 operated patients pathological complete response rate was 23.3%, the rate of near complete response was 20% and in 96.7% radical resection was achieved. Pathological T, N and stage downstaging was 65%, 96.7% and 83.4%, respectively. Grade ≥ 3 perioperative complications were anastomotic leakage in 3, pelvic abscess in 1 and paralytic ileus in 2 patients. The rate of pathologic complete response (pCR) in patients irradiated with 3D conformal technique was 12.1% while with IMRT and VMAT it was 37% (p < 0.05). Hypofractionation with larger dose per fraction and simultaneous integrated boost used in the latest two was the only factor associated with pCR.

Conclusions

Total neoadjuvant treatment of high risk rectal cancer is well tolerated and highly effective with excellent tumor and node regression rate and with low toxicity rate. Longer follow up will show if this strategy will improve distant disease control and survival.

Abstract

Background

The purpose of the study was to improve treatment efficacy for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) by shifting half of adjuvant chemotherapy preoperatively to one induction and two consolidation cycles.

Patients and methods

Between October 2011 and April 2013, 66 patients with LARC were treated with one induction chemotherapy cycle followed by chemoradiotherapy (CRT), two consolidation cycles, surgery and three adjuvant capecitabine cycles. Radiation doses were 50.4 Gy for T2-3 and 54 Gy for T4 tumours in 1.8 Gy daily fraction. The doses of concomitant and neo/adjuvant capecitabine were 825 mg/m2/12h and 1250mg/m2/12h, respectively. The primary endpoint was pathologic complete response (pCR).

Results

Forty-three (65.1%) patients were treated according to protocol. The compliance rates for induction, consolidation, and adjuvant chemotherapy were 98.5%, 93.8% and 87.3%, respectively. CRT was completed by 65/66 patients, with G ≥ 3 non-hematologic toxicity at 13.6%. The rate of pCR (17.5%) was not increased, but N and the total-down staging rates were 77.7% and 79.3%, respectively. In a median follow-up of 55 months, we recorded one local relapse (LR) (1.6%). The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 64.0% (95% CI 63.89–64.11) and 69.5% (95% CI 69.39–69.61), respectively.

Conclusions

In LARC preoperative treatment intensification with capecitabine before and after radiotherapy is well tolerated, with a high compliance rate and acceptable toxicity. Though it does not improve the local effect, it achieves a high LR rate, DFS, and OS.