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Long‐term results in patients with T2–3 N0 distal rectal cancer undergoing radiotherapy before transanal endoscopic microsurgery. BJS 2005; 92: 1546-1552.

Published: 27th October 2005

Authors: E. Lezoche, M. Guerrieri, A. M. Paganini, M. Baldarelli, A. De Sanctis, G. Lezoche et al.

Background

Local excision after radiotherapy for node‐negative low rectal cancer may be an alternative to radical excision. This study evaluated the results of local excision in patients with small (less than 3 cm in diameter) T2 and T3 distal rectal tumours following neoadjuvant therapy.

Method

One hundred patients with rectal cancer (54 uT2 and 46 uT3 uN0 tumours) were enrolled. All patients underwent preoperative radiotherapy followed by local excision by means of transanal endoscopic microsurgery.

Results

Definitive histological examination revealed nine pT1, 54 pT2 and 19 pT3 tumours. A complete response (R0) or microscopic residual tumour (R1mic) was found in three and 15 patients respectively. Minor complications occurred in 11 patients and major complications in two. At a median follow‐up of 55 (range 7–120) months, the local failure rate was 5 per cent and metastatic disease was found in two patients. The cancer‐specific survival rate at 90 months' follow‐up was 89 per cent, and the overall survival rate 72 per cent. Salvage abdominoperineal resection was performed in three patients, two of whom were disease free at 15 and 19 months.

Conclusion

Treatment of small uT2 and uT3 uN0 rectal cancers with preoperative high‐dose radiotherapy followed by transanal endoscopic microsurgery is an acceptable alternative to conventional radical resection. Copyright © 2005 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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