Optimal treatment strategy for rectal cancer based on the risk factors for recurrence patterns

Takehito Yamamoto, Kenji Kawada, Koya Hida, Riki Ganeko, Susumu Inamoto, Mami Yoshitomi, Takeshi Watanabe, Yoshiharu Sakai
International Journal of Clinical Oncology 2019 February 5

BACKGROUND: For rectal cancer, multimodality therapeutic approach is necessary to prevent local recurrence and distant metastasis. However, the efficacy of additional treatments, such as neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT), neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), and lateral pelvic lymph node dissection (LPLND), has not been scrutinized.

METHODS: Recurrence patterns were categorized into local recurrence and distant metastasis. Local recurrence was classified into two types: (1) pelvic cavity recurrence and (2) LPLN recurrence. First, we analyzed the risk factors for each recurrence pattern. Second, based on the status of clinically suspected involvement of circumferential resection margin (cCRM), the efficacy of additional treatments was investigated.

RESULTS: A total of 240 patients was enrolled. nCRT was performed for 25 (10%), NAC was for 46 (19%), and LPLND was for 35 patients (15%). As the recurrence patterns, pelvic cavity recurrence occurred in 15 (6%), LPLN recurrence in 8 (3%), and distant metastasis in 42 patients (18%). Five-year overall survival and relapse-free survival were 87% and 70%, respectively. Multivariate analysis indicated that pelvic cavity recurrence was associated with cCRM status and tumor histology, that LPLN recurrence was with serum carcinoembryonic antigen level and LPLN swelling, and that distant metastasis was with clinical N category. In the cCRM-positive subgroup (n = 66), cumulative rate of pelvic cavity recurrence was lower in the nCRT group than in the NAC or non-NAC/nCRT group (P = 0.02 and 0.09, respectively).

CONCLUSION: cCRM status was associated with pelvic cavity recurrence, and LPLN swelling was with LPLN recurrence. nCRT could reduce pelvic cavity recurrence in cCRM-positive subgroup.

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