Short-course RT with delay to surgery recommended as alternative in rectal cancer
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- All 3 treatment options yield similar oncological results.
- Long-course radiotherapy with delay prolongs treatment time; postoperative complications were significantly reduced in short-course radiotherapy with delay vs immediate surgery.
Why this matters
- Optimal radiotherapy fractionation and time between radiotherapy and surgery for rectal cancer remain unresolved.
- Cumulative incidences of local recurrence or distant metastases did not differ significantly between the 3 treatment groups.
- There were also no differences in overall or recurrence-free survival.
- Acute radiation-induced toxicity occurred in <1% patients after short-course radiotherapy, 7% after short-course radiotherapy with delay, and 5% after long-course radiotherapy with delay.
- Pooled analysis of short-course radiotherapy regimens demonstrated reduced risk for postoperative complications after short-course radiotherapy with delay.
- Multicenter, randomized, noninferiority trial (Stockholm III) allocated pa...