Complete pathologic response after preoperative rectal cancer chemoradiotherapy

Anthony Ciccocioppo, Jacqueline H. Stephens, Peter J. Hewett, Nicholas A. Rieger

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Following preoperative treatment of rectal cancer with chemoradiotherapy (CRT), a complete pathological response (CPR) can be seen in the surgical specimen. The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of these patients as compared with those who did not have a complete response. Methods: A retrospective study of the outcome of patients managed with preoperative CRT for their rectal cancer was conducted. Results: Between November 1998 and July 2004, there were 530 new presentations of rectal cancer at The Queen Elizabeth and Royal Adelaide hospitals. Forty of these patients (7.5%) were treated with long-course preoperative CRT. After resection, a CPR was seen in seven patients (17.5%). These patients were all disease free at January 2006 after a median follow-up of 6.0 years (range 1.42-7.02 years). One patient had died from non-tumour-/surgery-related causes. Tumour recurrence, but not mortality, in this group was superior to the comparison group of patients without a CPR. Conclusions: None of our patients who had a CPR after preoperative CRT have recurred or died from their disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-484
Number of pages4
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Adjuvant radiotherapy
  • Rectal neoplasm
  • Recurrence
  • Survival rate


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